During the preceding night, Hussein Yazbak, Hezbollah’s regional commander in the Naqoura region near the Israeli border, was killed, along with three additional operatives, who were serving as his bodyguards.

North:

Hezbollah has claimed responsibility for five attacks on Israel today. There were attacks today towards the communities of: Manara and Metula, both in the Upper Galilee, in which a house was struck, thankfully no injuries were recorded. Another attack on Manara occurred in the afternoon, and later on Misgav Am in the Upper Galilee.

In response to the recent assassination of a Hamas leader Al-Arouri in Beirut, and the potential escalation that might come, Canada, Sweden, Germany, and Denmark have issued statements advising their citizens to refrain from traveling to Lebanon and to evacuate immediately if already present.

In reaction to Hezbollah’s attacks on Israeli civilians and infrastructure on Wednesday, the IDF conducted targeted operations last night against Hezbollah assets, notably addressing a terrorist squad situated in the vicinity of Yaroun village. The IDF also observed shell fire crossing the Lebanese border into Israeli territory, impacting open spaces in the Goren region of Western Galilee. Furthermore, the IDF fired artillery shells to thwart a threat in the area of Rav-a-Taltin.

Throughout the day, the Israeli Air Force (IAF) conducted precision strikes on Hezbollah’s terrorist infrastructure and compounds in the Lavona and Maroun al-Ras regions of South Lebanon. Additionally, an Israeli tank engaged a terrorist group situated within Lebanese territory.

In the early afternoon An IAF fighter jet targeted a Hezbollah launch post, terrorist infrastructure, and observation post in the Yaroun region of South Lebanon. In a separate operation, IDF soldiers struck another Hezbollah observation post located in the Maroun El Ras area. Furthermore, IDF soldiers engaged in firing in the Ayta ash Shab area to address a potential threat.

Negotiations for a cease-fire in the North:

Lebanon’s Foreign Minister, Abdallah Bou Habib, held a meeting with Brett McGurk, who serves as President Biden’s advisor on the Middle East. Their discussions revolved around diplomatic initiatives aimed at preventing Lebanon from getting involved in the conflict in Gaza. Both parties underscored the significance of Amos Hochstein’s trip to the area and mission to de-escalate tensions in Lebanon and the broader region.

The U.S. President has dispatched special envoy Amos Hochstein to the Middle East, with one of his primary objectives being the mitigation of tensions between Israel and Hezbollah. During a meeting between Hochstein and Israeli Minister of Defense Yoav Galant, Galant emphasized the narrow timeframe available for reaching an agreement.

Gaza:

Early morning sirens sounded in the city of Ashkelon and near the communities of the Gaza Envelope. Two interceptions were recorded.

The IDF emphasizes that the mission in South Gaza significantly differs from the one in the northern part. The current focus is on locating high-ranking Hamas personnel concealed in underground tunnels. Strategically, the IDF opts for a gradual approach to ensure the safety of its forces. It’s noted that every house may harbor terror facilities and weaponry, meaning there are no “innocent” targets.

The IDF and ISA killed Mamdouh Lolo, the Islamic Jihad’s Chief of Operational Staff in the Northern Gaza Strip. Mamdouh played a pivotal role in orchestrating numerous terrorist attacks and held a significant position within the Islamic Jihad organization.

Yemen:

Yesterday evening, a coalition of 12 nations, led by the United States, collaboratively endorsed a declaration urging the Houthis to cease their assaults in the Red Sea, warning of impending consequences should they persist. The signatories included the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, Japan, and Australia.

A remotely operated vessel (USV) belonging to the Houthis detonated a few miles from American Marine Forces in the Red Sea.

Iraq/Iran:

A targeted U.S. airstrike near a PMF compound situated east of Baghdad resulted in the demise of Mushtaq Taleb al-Saidi, also known as “Abu Taqwa,” a prominent commander affiliated with the Iran-backed militia Al-Nujaba.

ISIS claimed responsibility for yesterday’s terror attack in Kerman, Iran, near the ceremony and gravesite of Soleimani. Two suicide bombers enacted the attack.  

International:

In a robust declaration, the White House reaffirmed its commitment to maintaining a significant force presence in the Middle East. The United States will persist in cooperating with its allies to assist Israel in its self-defense efforts and safeguard the unimpeded flow of international commerce through the Red Sea.

After South Africa accused Israel at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the U.S. State Department released a statement emphasizing that none of the actions made by Israel in Gaza can be categorized as genocide.

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