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Hearth from Lebanon kills 2 Israeli civilians because the Israel-Hamas battle rages for a hundredth day

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JERUSALEM — Two civilians had been killed in northern Israel on Sunday after an anti-tank missile fired from Lebanon hit their residence in a city close to the border, elevating new considerations of a second battle erupting in opposition to the backdrop of the continuing Israel-Hamas battle.

The lethal strike got here on the a hundredth day of a battle between Israel and Hamas that has killed almost 24,000 Palestinians, devastated huge swaths of Gaza, pushed round 85% of its 2.3 million residents from their properties and pushed 1 / 4 of the inhabitants into hunger.

The battle was triggered by Hamas’ Oct. 7 shock assault into southern Israel during which militants killed some 1,200 folks, principally civilians, and took round 250 hostages, round half of whom are nonetheless in captivity.

Tensions have soared throughout the area, with Israel buying and selling fireplace nearly each day with Lebanon’s Hezbollah militant group, Iran-backed militias attacking U.S. targets in Syria and Iraq, and Yemen’s Houthi rebels concentrating on worldwide delivery, drawing a wave of U.S. airstrikes final week.

Sunday’s missile strike got here a day after the Israeli military mentioned it killed three militants who had crossed into Israel from Lebanon and tried to hold out an assault. Hezbollah’s chief, Hassan Nasrallah, was delivering a speech on Sunday.

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The unprecedented stage of loss of life and destruction in Gaza has led South Africa to lodge allegations of genocide in opposition to Israel on the Worldwide Courtroom of Justice. Israel adamantly denies the accusations and has vowed to press forward with its offensive even when the court docket in The Hague points an interim order for it to cease.

“Nobody will cease us, not The Hague, not the axis of evil and never anybody else,” Netanyahu mentioned Saturday night, referring to Iran and its allied militias.

Israel has additionally vowed to return the greater than 100 hostages nonetheless held in Gaza as its leaders have confronted mounting protests from their households, together with a 24-hour rally in Tel Aviv that started Saturday night and drew tens of 1000’s of supporters.

Israeli forces have solely managed to rescue one hostage, whereas greater than 100 had been launched throughout a weeklong cease-fire in November in alternate for 240 Palestinians imprisoned by Israel. Hamas says no extra hostages shall be launched till Israel ends its offensive.

Israel and Hezbollah have been cautious to not permit their back-and-forth combating to erupt into full-blown battle on a second entrance.

However they’ve come shut on a number of events — most just lately within the aftermath of an airstrike that killed a prime Hamas official in Beirut on Jan. 2. Hamas and Hezbollah have each blamed Israel for the strike. The newest assaults on Israel, together with the deaths of two civilians on Sunday, raised the probability of recent Israeli reprisals.

The missile hit a house within the city of Yuval in northern Israel, killing a person in his 40s and his mom, who was in her 70s, Israeli rescuers mentioned.

Though Yuval is one in all greater than 40 cities alongside the northern border evacuated by the federal government in October, Israeli media reported that the household stayed within the space as a result of they work in agriculture.

Greater than 115,000 Israelis have evacuated from northern Israel because of the ongoing tensions. In Israel, 12 troopers and 7 civilians have died from rocket launches from Lebanon, and greater than 170 had been injured. Hezbollah has reported at the very least 150 fighters and 20 civilians have been killed within the near-daily exchanges of fireplace.

The lethal strike got here hours after the military mentioned it killed three militants who entered a disputed Israeli-controlled enclave within the Golan Heights.

A bunch known as Islamic Glory Brigades claimed duty for the infiltration. The Related Press couldn’t independently confirm the assertion, and Hezbollah, the Lebanese branches of Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad all mentioned the group was not affiliated with them.

Since October, over 2,000 rockets and 350 drones have been launched from Lebanon, based on Israel.

Israel has additionally been underneath rising worldwide strain to finish the battle in Gaza, however has up to now been shielded by U.S. diplomatic and navy assist. Israel argues that any cease-fire would hand victory to Hamas, which has dominated Gaza since 2007 and is bent on Israel’s destruction.

1000’s took to the streets of Washington, London, Paris, Rome, Milan and Dublin on Saturday to demand an finish to the battle. Protesters converging on the White Home held aloft indicators criticizing President Joe Biden’s unwavering assist for Israel.

In latest weeks, Israel has scaled again operations in northern Gaza, the preliminary goal of the offensive, the place weeks of airstrikes and floor operations left total neighborhoods in ruins. Netanyahu mentioned there aren’t any rapid plans to permit lots of of 1000’s of Palestinians to return to their properties there, after U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken raised the problem throughout a go to to the area final week.

Israel has in the meantime launched main operations in opposition to the southern metropolis of Khan Younis and built-up refugee camps in central Gaza. These camps date again to the 1948 battle surrounding Israel’s creation, when lots of of 1000’s of Palestinians fled or had been pushed out and by no means allowed to return.

“Nobody is ready to transfer,” mentioned Rami Abu Matouq, who lives within the Maghzai camp. “Warplanes, snipers and gunfire are in every single place.” He mentioned a number of buildings have been hit by airstrikes and shelling over the previous two days however that nobody can attain them to attempt to rescue any survivors.

Netanyahu mentioned Israel would ultimately must push additional south and take management of Gaza’s border with Egypt, which Israeli officers say continues to be utilized by Hamas to smuggle in arms.

Egypt, which lately has fortified the border, demolished tunnels and established a buffer zone, insists it has full management of the border and says any such operation must be thought-about in gentle of agreements reached with Israel and america.

The world in and across the border city of Rafah can also be full of lots of of 1000’s of Palestinians who fled from different elements of Gaza and are crowded into overflowing U.N.-run shelters and tent camps.

The Gaza Well being Ministry mentioned Sunday that hospitals had obtained 125 our bodies within the final 24 hours, bringing the general loss of life toll to 23,968. The ministry doesn’t differentiate between civilians and combatants however says round two-thirds of the {dead} are girls and minors. It says over 60,000 folks have been wounded.

Fewer than half of the territory’s 36 hospitals are nonetheless partially useful, based on the U.N. humanitarian workplace. It says the widespread combating and Israeli restrictions — which have elevated because the begin of the yr — have made it more and more tough to ship meals, water and different desperately wanted help. U.S. strain on Israel to facilitate deliveries has met with little success.

Israel says Hamas is chargeable for the excessive civilian casualties, saying its fighters make use of civilian buildings and launch assaults from densely populated city areas. The navy says 188 troopers have been killed and 1,099 wounded because the begin of the bottom offensive.


Magdy reported from Cairo, Chehayeb reported from Beirut. Related Press author Abby Sewell in Beirut contributed to this report.


Discover extra of AP’s protection at https://apnews.com/hub/israel-hamas-war

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