Rocket hits UNFIL base in southern Lebanon: no one injured. Israel returns to attack Gaza after the exodus of civilians

Photo of author

By John

The Unifil base in Naqoura, in southern Lebanon, was not the target but a rocket launched by Hezbollah hit a logistics area where there were no soldiers at the time. An episode, military sources specify, was due to an incorrect calculation of the trajectory but which triggered the procedure envisaged in these cases: all the soldiers on the base entered the bunkers and then left when the alarm was cleared. An episode which however also raises the issue of security for the Italian soldiers employed in the Unifil mission in Lebanon, around a thousand of whom 100 are employed at the Naqoura base. «We didn’t need this to happen to be on alert – says the Minister of Defense Guido Crosetto We have been coordinating with the UN for days and there is a continuous evaluation that is done hour by hour. But if there were no security conditions for our soldiers, we would make the same assessments made for the contingent in Jericho.” In fact, today the carabinieri involved in the Italian training mission in Palestine (Miadit) returned from Jericho. “The situation is no longer calm,” Crosetto said yesterday, announcing the return of around 20 carabinieri involved in training members of the Palestinian Security Forces, the security forces of the Palestinian Interior Ministry, at the training center in Jericho.

“The situation has gradually become more difficult, so much so as to make it impossible to continue with our activities which were now reduced to a minimum and with the few present in the Jericho area”, reports a carabiniere who returned from Jericho to Pisa. «Movements in that territory were now difficult for everyone, even for us. Such a situation of instability had been created that our safety could not be guaranteed”, adds the carabiniere. Among the tasks of the mission were the teaching of police techniques, management of public order, investigative techniques, protection of cultural heritage and contribution to the creation of conditions for the stabilization of the Palestinian territories. Miadit was born in 2012 on the sidelines of the coordination table for the development of bilateral relations between Italy and the Palestinian Authority, during which the Palestinian Interior Minister asked for the support of the Carabinieri to train the Palestinian security forces. The request was positively accepted by the national political authority, which authorized the launch of a training mission of the Palestinian security forces in Jericho, by a ‘training unit’ of the Carabinieri, in two annual cycles of 12 weeks each . Now the security assessment, even if – as the head of Defense specifies – in constant coordination with the UN, will also be carried out for the Italian soldiers engaged in Lebanon. Military sources, however, specify that at the moment the evacuation of the base, the decision of which lies with the UN, is not foreseen.

Clearance of the Gaza Strip

Meanwhile, the Israeli army today began the eviction of the city of Sderot, located close to the Gaza Strip, which was the scene of brutality by Hamas commandos and which was repeatedly hit by rocket fire. ”This is not the time to stay in the city,” said Mayor Allon Davidi. Its 30 thousand inhabitants will have the right to stay in guesthouses at state expense, in safer places in Israel. According to the media, evacuation is not mandatory and those who deem it appropriate can remain in their homes. Israel will only launch “significant military operations” once civilians have left Gaza, a spokesperson for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) told CNN. “The important thing to focus on is that we will only begin significant military operations when we see that civilians have left the area,” Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus said. “It’s really important that people in Gaza know that we were very, very generous with the time. We gave ample notice, more than 25 hours.” The Israeli army is hitting southern Lebanon again after the anti-tank missile launched from across the border. The military spokesman made this known.

The PA Health Ministry reported that the number of deaths in Israeli raids since October 7 in Gaza and the West Bank has risen to 2,384, while 10,250 have been injured.
In particular, writes the Palestinian agency Wafa, «2,329 people were killed in the Strip, most of whom were children and women, while the number of injured reached 9,042. In the West Bank, the number of deaths rose yesterday to 55, after the death yesterday of sixteen-year-old Muhammad Rifaat Adwan, in Tulkarem governorate, while the number of injured rose to over 1,200.” Meanwhile, the alarm sirens have sounded again in Tel Aviv.

The head of Hamas met the Iranian minister in Doha

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian met Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh in Doha, according to the Iranian IRNA agency. The two discussed developments in the war between Hamas and Israel, and agreed to “continue cooperation to achieve all goals of the Palestinian resistance and people.” It is the first meeting at this level after the terrorist organization’s attack in Israel on October 7.

Israel, one of those responsible for Kibbutz Nirim massacre killed

Israel killed last night in the southern Gaza Strip one of those responsible for the massacre that occurred last week in Kibbutz Nirim. This was announced by the Israeli army, according to which he is Billal al-Kedra, commander of the elite Hamas unit known as ‘Nukhba’ in the Khan Yunes area, in the south of the Strip. In this attack, conducted by fighter planes, the spokesperson specified, ‘”other Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists were killed”.

China, Israel’s actions beyond the scope of self-defense

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi yesterday had a telephone conversation with his Saudi counterpart Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud on the crisis in the Middle East, noting that Israel’s actions “went beyond the scope of self-defense”. While Tel Aviv “should seriously listen to the appeals of the international community and the UN Secretary General to stop the collective punishment of the people of Gaza”. Both, according to a Beijing diplomatic note released today, “expressed concern about the situation in Israel and Gaza”.

Attack on the Anglican hospital

«Our Arab Ahli hospital in Gaza was hit by Israeli attacks; two floors were damaged and 4 people were injured. The ultrasound and mammogram room was damaged.” This was announced by the Anglican archbishop of Jerusalem, Hosam Naoum. “We continue to pray for peace and the end of the war in the Holy Land”, is his appeal on social media in which he posts photos of the destruction that occurred in the hospital in Gaza.

China’s envoy to the Middle East to push for peace talks

Chinese special envoy Zhai Jun will be in the Middle East next week to push for a ceasefire in the conflict between Israel and Hamas and to promote peace talks. Zhai, the state network CCTV reported, “will visit the Middle East with the aim of coordinating with the various parties for a ceasefire, to protect civilians, to alleviate the situation and to promote peace talks”. Zhai’s mission was anticipated on Friday by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, during the press conference with his EU counterpart Josep Borrell, at the end of the China-EU Strategic Dialogue.

US sends ground attack planes to Middle East

US Central Command said in a social media post that A-10 ground attack support aircraft will soon join F-15s already deployed in the area. CNN reports it. “By equipping ourselves with advanced assets and integrating with joint and coalition forces, we are strengthening our partnerships and security in the region,” Lt. Gen. Alexus Grynkewich, commander of Ninth Air Force, said in a statement. The movement of warplanes “strengthens the US position and improves air operations throughout the Middle East,” he said. And meanwhile the USA announces thesending a second aircraft carrier to the eastern Mediterranean as “deterrence against actions hostile to Israel”: the Pentagon announces it.

Biden, Hamas carries out the worst massacre of Jews since the Holocaust

“We are witnessing the worst massacre of Jews since the Holocaust. We are witnessing a humanitarian crisis in Gaza”: Joe Biden said this while speaking in Washington at a dinner for the campaign in favor of human rights. Most of the people living in Gaza, he added, are “innocent Palestinian families, who want nothing to do with Hamas.”

Egypt links the exit of the Americans to the entry of humanitarian aid

The agreement between Washington and Cairo to allow over 500 Americans to leave Gaza through the Rafah crossing comes to a standstill. Egypt has explained that it will only give the green light if humanitarian aid can flow in the opposite direction, according to the Wall Street Journal. The agreement stipulated 5pm on Saturday as the deadline for the crossing but the crossing remained closed.

USA, 29 American victims of Hamas, 16 missing

The number of American citizens killed in Hamas attacks in Israel has risen from 27 to 29: a spokesperson for the US State Department reported this, adding that 15 US citizens and one legal permanent resident were also missing. “We are working around the clock to determine where they are,” she assured, recalling the collaboration with the Israeli government “on every aspect of the hostage crisis, including the sharing of intelligence information.”