Middle East live: Israel prepared for ‘strong action’ in north near Lebanon, says Netanyahu | Israel-Gaza war

Netanyahu: Israel prepared for ‘strong action’ in north near Lebanon

Here are the fuller quotes from Benjamin Netanyahu, who was touring northern Israel near the UN-drawn blue line which has separated Lebanon and Israel since 2000 and said that Israel was prepared for strong action in the region. Earlier this week Israel’s military and emergency rescue teams fought large fires set of by rockets fired into Israel.

Reuters reports Netanyahu said:

Whoever thinks that they can harm us and we will sit idly by is making a big mistake. We are prepared for a very strong action in the north. In one way or another we will restore security to the north.

Israel has been almost constantly exchanging fire with anti-Israeli forces in southern Lebanon since 7 October. Tens of thousands of civilians in both countries have been displaced from their homes.

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Reuters reports Hezbollah said on Wednesday it had targeted Israel’s Iron Dome air-defence system in Ramot Naftali with a guided missile.

More details soon …

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Clashes break out in Jerusalem ahead of flag march

Clashes have broken out in Jerusalem ahead of the flag day march. The Times of India reports they took place just inside the Damascus gate when Israelis threw stones and attacked local residents.

Israeli right activists shout slogans near Israeli security forces in Jerusalem’s Old City on 5 June. Photograph: Menahem Kahana/AFP/Getty Images

Images appear to show right-wing Israeli activists assaulting a freelance member of the Palestinian press, Saif Kwasmi. Kwasmi was previously detained by Israeli security forces in April, and said he was beaten during that detention.

Israeli right-wing activists scuffle with a Palestinian freelance journalist Saif Kwasmi in the old city of Jerusalem on 5 June. Photograph: Hazem Bader/AFP/Getty Images

The provocative Jerusalem Day parade by thousands of Jewish nationalists celebrates Israel’s capture and occupation of East Jerusalem and its holy sites in the 1967 war, a move that is not internationally recognised. It has often featured violent clashes between marchers and Palestinian residents of the Old City, as well as anti-Arab hate speech and vandalism of Palestinian property, although last year’s march passed relatively peacefully.

A journalist reacts after being assaulted by Israeli right-wing activists in Jerusalem. Photograph: Hazem Bader/AFP/Getty Images

The Times of Israel reports:

A marcher tried to knock down a Times of Israel reporter’s phone while filming the violence. Protesters chanted “Death to the Arabs.”

Haaretz reports that Israeli minister Yitzhak Wasserlauf and Knesset member Yitzhak Kreuzer entered the Temple Mount compound along with hundreds of Jewish worshippers.

An Israeli right-wing activist holds up an Israeli national flag to obscure the camera of a video journalist during a march commemorating Jerusalem Day, 5 June. Photograph: Hazem Bader/AFP/Getty Images
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A gunman who attacked the US embassy near Beirut was shot and captured by Lebanese soldiers after a Wednesday morning shootout that injured an embassy security guard, the military and embassy officials said.

The attack took place as tensions simmered in the tiny Mediterranean country, where months of fighting between Hezbollah militants and Israeli troops has displaced thousands along the border, following years of political deadlock and economic hardship.

Local media reported that there was a gunfight involving at least one attacker, and lasted almost half an hour.

Joe Abdo, who works at a gas station near the compound said he heard “around 15 to 20 rounds of gunfire” while working that morning. “We ran here to see what’s happening and suddenly, the army blocked us from going up,” he told The Associated Press.

A Lebanese security official and two judicial officials familiar with the case said the gunman appeared to be a lone attacker. They identified him as a resident of the eastern Lebanese border town of Majdal Anjar near Syria. Earlier, the Lebanese military identified the suspect as a Syrian national.

They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not cleared to speak to the press.

The military raided both Majdal Anjar and nearby Suweiri, where they detained relatives of the suspect, but did not find other gunmen or evidence of a possible extremist cell, the officials added.

The suspect was shot in the stomach and leg before being captured and taken to the military hospital in Beirut, according to the officials.

A US Embassy spokesperson said in a statement that one embassy security guard was injured in the attack.

“With respect to his privacy we cannot say more, but we wish him a full recovery,” said the spokesperson, who spoke on condition of anonymity in accordance with regulations.

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Here are the latest images coming across the wires from Gaza:

Palestinian children wounded in the Israeli bombardment on a residential building in Bureij refugee camp, are treated at al-Aqsa Martyrs hospital in Deir al-Balah, central Gaza. Photograph: Saher Alghorra/AP
A Palestinian boy carries empty or unexploded US-manufactured ammunition and the remnants of rockets which were found in the region after Israeli army’s withdrawal from Khan Younis, Gaza. Photograph: Anadolu/Getty Images
Displaced civilians flee from the east of al-Bureij in the central Gaza Strip due to Israeli bombardment on the city.
Displaced civilians flee from the east of al-Bureij in the central Gaza Strip due to Israeli bombardment on the city. Photograph: Bashar Taleb/AFP/Getty Images
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The Israeli military said it has started “operational activity” in two areas of central Gaza in a possible broadening of its monthslong ground offensive against Hamas.

The military said Wednesday its forces were operating “both above and below ground” in eastern parts of Deir al-Balah and Bureij, a built-up Palestinian refugee camp dating back to the 1948 war surrounding Israel’s creation. It said the operation began with airstrikes on militant infrastructure, after which troops began a “targeted daylight operation” in both areas.

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Israeli far-right minister Itamar Ben-Gvir said on Wednesday his party would “disrupt” the ruling coalition until Benjamin Netanyahu discloses details of the prospective Gaza deal amid renewed truce efforts.

“As long as the Prime Minister continues to hide the details of the deal, Otzma Yehudit will disrupt his coalition,” the national security minister, Ben-Gvir wrote on X, revealing deepening ruptures in the country’s wartime coalition.

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Hamas has issued a statement critical of the Jerusalem day flag march, which is due to take place today. In the statement Hamas said “The march of flags in occupied Jerusalem is an aggression against our peoples and holy sites.”

Reuters reports that an Israeli police spokesperson has said more than 3,000 police would be on duty in Jerusalem to “maintain the routine of life as much as possible”.

“Israelis proceeding through Israel with Israeli flags is not incendiary, it’s just a national holiday that’s going to be taking place,” they said.

Many Palestinian shopkeepers shutter their businesses for fear of racist violence, and last year, Reuters notes, the event saw groups of Jewish youths chant slogans including “Death to Arabs”.

Palestinian news agency Wafa reported the Jerusalem governorate said “the march of flags in the streets of Jerusalem is an assault on the status quo in the occupied city, and a continuation of the Israeli occupation’s measures aimed at Judaizing it. Israel is exploiting the aggression against Palestinian people in Gaza to advance the Judaization of the holy city.”

Israel’s far-right national security minister, Itamar Ben-Gvir, who is in charge of the police, said last week he would be participating and encouraged supporters to join.

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Israeli peace activists in Jerusalem have been taking part in the “flower parade”, where they hand flowers to Palestinian residents as an alternative to the Jerusalem day flag parade which is scheduled for later today.

A Palestinian resident receives a flower given by Israeli peace activists during the Flowers Parade in the Old City in Jerusalem, 5 June. Photograph: Abir Sultan/EPA

Jordan’s foreign ministry has condemned Israel today for failing to protect the holy sites in Jerusalem.

It criticised Israel’s government for “carrying out the so-called flag march in occupied Jerusalem, and the accompanying aggression against the Palestinians and extremist racist practices, imposing restrictions on the access of worshipers to the blessed al-Aqsa mosque and restricting the movement of Palestinians in the Old City of occupied Jerusalem.”

دانت وزارة الخارجية وشؤون المغتربين قيام أحد الوزراء المتطرفين في الحكومة الإسرائيلية وأعضاء من الكنيست الإسرائيلي ومتطرفين، اليوم، باقتحام المسجد الأقصى المبارك/ الحرم القدسي الشريف تحت حماية شرطة الاحتلال الإسرائيلية، والممارسات الاستفزازية التي تنتهك حرمة المسجد الأقصى… pic.twitter.com/7Z4yU3TY0n

— وزارة الخارجية وشؤون المغتربين الأردنية (@ForeignMinistry) June 5, 2024

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The Times of Israel reports that Israel’s government has raised the number of reservists the IDF is authorised to call up from 300,000 to 350,000.

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Israel’s military has posted to its official Telegram channel to claim that “a suspicious aerial target that crossed from Lebanon was successfully intercepted in the area of Metula”.

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The office of Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has posted some images of him being briefed on the ground in northern Israel during a visit there today.

PM Netanyahu was briefed on the operational situation, recent events, management of the defensive battle and actions taken to defend the communities in the north, as well as Brigade and Northern Command actions against the Hezbollah terrorists and infrastructure in Lebanon. pic.twitter.com/TH7NeV1iG2

— Prime Minister of Israel (@IsraeliPM) June 5, 2024

Here is the full quote from Netanyahu issued to the media:

We said, at the start of the war, that we would restore security in both the south and the north – and this is what we are doing.

Today I am on the northern border with our heroic fighters and commanders, as well as with our firefighters. Yesterday the ground burned here and I am pleased that you have extinguished it, but ground also burned in Lebanon.

Whoever thinks he can hurt us and we will respond by sitting on our hands is making a big mistake.

We are prepared for very intense action in the north. One way or another, we will restore security to the north.

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The Israeli military said it has started “operational activity” in two areas of central Gaza.

The military said Wednesday its forces were operating “both above and below ground” in eastern parts of Deir al-Balah and Bureij, a built-up Palestinian refugee camp dating back to the 1948.

Associated Press report the IDF claimed the operation began with airstrikes on militant infrastructure, after which troops began a “targeted daylight operation” in both areas.

Palestinian news agency Wafa reports that dozens of Palestinian civilians have been killed overnight.

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Al Jazeera is reporting that local sources have told it that 75 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli attacks in central Gaza in the last 24 hours. It reports “the attacks have hammered the densely populated Bureij and Maghazi refugee camps, as well as neighbourhoods east of Deir el-Balah.”

The Israeli government banned Al Jazeera from operating inside Israel in May.

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Here are some of the latest images sent to us from Gaza over the newswires.

Displaced civilians flee from the east of al-Bureij in the central Gaza Strip due to Israeli bombardment on the city on 5 June. Photograph: Bashar Taleb/AFP/Getty Images
Palestinians pray at the Al-Aqsa Martyrs hospital in Deir al-Balah over the bodies of people killed in an Israeli strike on 5 June. Photograph: Bashar Taleb/AFP/Getty Images
The wife of Palestinian man Mohammed Abu Seif, who was killed in an Israeli strike, holds his hand as she sits between his body and the body of her son who was killed in the same strike in Deir Al-Balah, in central Gaza Strip, 5 June. Photograph: Doaa Rouqa/Reuters
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