Israel-Hamas war, day 189: Hezbollah says it fired several dozen rockets into northern Israel

Lebanese Hezbollah, supported by Iran, announced Friday evening April 12 that it had launched “dozens of rockets” at Israeli positions, in response, according to it, to Israeli attacks in southern Lebanon

Israel-Hamas war, day 189: Hezbollah says it fired several dozen rockets into northern Israel

Lebanese Hezbollah, supported by Iran, announced Friday evening April 12 that it had launched “dozens of rockets” at Israeli positions, in response, according to it, to Israeli attacks in southern Lebanon. Hezbollah fighters attacked “enemy artillery positions (…) with dozens of Katyusha-type rockets,” the movement said in a statement, adding that it was “a response to attacks by the enemy against (…) southern villages and civilian houses”.

The Israeli army declared for its part that “around forty shots were detected coming from Lebanese territory, some of which were intercepted”. “No injuries were reported,” it said, adding that it had previously intercepted two “Hezbollah explosive drones.” The official Lebanese news agency ANI reported on Friday Israeli shelling and strikes on several Lebanese border villages.

Threats of an Iranian attack on Israel are “credible” and “real,” a White House spokesperson said Friday, who declined to provide further details on potential targets and timing. The United States intends to “do everything possible to ensure that Israel can defend itself,” also declared John Kirby, spokesperson for the National Security Council. An American official also announced on Friday the sending of additional assets to the Middle East, to “strengthen regional deterrence efforts and strengthen the protection of American forces.”

While the mediators – Qatar, Egypt, United States – await responses to their latest truce proposal, the risks of a widening of the conflict have increased with Iran's threats against Israel. The Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, whose country supports Hamas, had promised that Israel would be “punished” after the deadly attack attributed to it on April 1 in Syria.

“Israel will not tolerate an Iranian attack on its territory,” said Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant. “If Iran carries out an attack from its territory, Israel will respond and attack Iran,” warned the head of Israeli diplomacy, Israel Katz, before him.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken asked his Chinese, Turkish and Saudi counterparts to deter Tehran from any attack on Israel, but Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian stressed the "necessity" to retaliate against the strike against his consulate.

The United States has restricted the movements of its diplomatic personnel in Israel and France has recommended that its nationals “absolutely refrain from traveling in the coming days to Iran, Lebanon, Israel and the Palestinian territories.” .

According to the Hamas press office, Israeli forces destroyed dozens of houses and residential buildings using explosives in the Nusseirat refugee camp in the center of the Gaza Strip. The Israeli military reported strikes against “more than sixty terrorist targets” in the Gaza Strip, including underground posts and military infrastructure.

Dozens of air raids were also carried out on Friday in several areas of the center of the enclave – including Nousseirat, according to Hamas. At least twenty-five members of a family were killed in a pre-dawn strike on a six-story building in the Al-Daraj neighborhood of Gaza City, according to a relative of the family. 'AFP.

In the last twenty-four hours, 89 additional deaths have been recorded in Gaza, bringing the death toll to 33,634 since October 7, the Hamas health ministry said on Friday.

“The first trucks of food aid entered Gaza yesterday [Thursday] through the new northern crossing point” located in the south of Israel, the Israeli body responsible for Palestinian civil affairs, Cogat, declared on X. “The trucks were subjected to extensive security checks by the security authorities of the Land Crossings Authority of the Ministry of Defense,” before being escorted by the Israeli army to the new crossing point, he said. the army said, without specifying the number, in a separate statement.

For now, most trucks enter through the Rafah crossing point on the Egypt-Gaza border at the southern tip of Palestinian territory.

Two Palestinians, including a Hamas member, were killed in an Israeli army operation launched overnight from Thursday to Friday in the occupied West Bank, according to the Israeli army. The latter specified that it had eliminated Mohammed Omar Daraghmeh, “head of Hamas’ terrorist infrastructure in the Tubas region” in the northern West Bank.

He had, according to the Israeli army, “planned major terrorist attacks against Israel in recent months.” During the operation during which the soldiers were targeted by fire and explosive devices, another Palestinian was killed, the army said.

Rather than exchanging through liaison bodies, the United Nations and other humanitarian actors “must speak to those who fire,” the humanitarian coordinator for the Palestinian territories, Jamie McGoldrick, told journalists in Geneva on Friday, at the end of a three-month mission. “We need to go to the people who control the guns, and we need to get along,” he said, asserting that “the deconfliction and notification systems are not adequate.”

Fighters from the Al-Quds Brigades – armed wing of Palestinian Islamic Jihad –, the Noukhba unit of Hamas and the Al-Qassam Brigades – armed wing of Hamas – “committed widespread sexual and gender-based violence, in a systematic manner, using them as a weapon of war,” the European Union (EU) said on Friday.

The EU specifies that the abuses committed by Hamas fighters include “the rape and murder of minors, the mutilation of corpses and genital mutilation”. She also accused the attackers of “targeted kidnapping of women and girls.”

The decision to impose sanctions on Hamas is part of an agreement between EU countries also providing for sanctions against Israeli settlers in the West Bank, accused of violence against Palestinians.