Tensions Escalate At The Israel-Lebanon Border, Gaza Cease-Fire Efforts Struggle, US Congress Votes On Sanctions Against International Criminal Court

Zinger Key Points
  • Cross-border tensions between Israel and Lebanon rise, prompting Israeli military warnings of large-scale operations.
  • Netanyahu vows strong measures to restore security in northern Israel "one way or another."

On Wednesday, a drone attack by Hezbollah from Lebanon resulted in injuries to at least 10 individuals in northern Israel, according to Israeli authorities, raising tensions about a potential counterattack from Tel Aviv.

Recent cross-border strikes have caused large fires in Israel's northern regions, leading the Israeli military to warn of potential large-scale operations against the Iranian-backed militant group based in Lebanon.

U.S. State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said the ongoing hostilities have a severe impact, stating that it is an “untenable situation for Israel” as thousands of Israelis in the north face displacement due to “constant Hezbollah shelling and drone attacks.”

Iraeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel is prepared to take strong measures to restore security in the north, vowing to achieve this “one way or another.”

Gaza Conflict Intensifies As Cease-Fire Efforts Go Nowhere

The Gaza conflict continues to intensify, with Israeli forces launching a new assault on a central area of the Gaza Strip Wednesday, targeting the last city yet to be overrun by their tanks.

Health workers in Gaza reported dozens of casualties, with the local Health Ministry recording 36 deaths and 115 injuries in the last 24 hours.

As the New York Times reported, Human Rights Watch has accused Israel of using white phosphorus munitions in southern Lebanon, confirming 17 instances, including five in residential areas. The use of white phosphorus in civilian zones violates international laws due to its incendiary and harmful effects.

In a bid to revive Gaza truce negotiations, officials from Egypt, Qatar and the United States are set to meet in Doha. This follows President Joe Biden‘s three-phase cease-fire proposal, which pairs a comprehensive cease-fire with the release of hostages.

Despite these efforts, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said Wednesday that military operations in Gaza would continue regardless of ongoing negotiations.

The leader of Hamas reiterated that any cease-fire must include a permanent end to hostilities and a complete Israeli withdrawal from Gaza, posing significant challenges to Biden's proposal.

Legislative Actions in the US

The U.S. House of Representatives, led by Republicans, passed a bill to impose sanctions on the International Criminal Court over its pursuit of arrest warrants for Israeli officials related to the Gaza war, according to Reuters.

The measure, passed by a vote of 247 to 155 with bipartisan support from 42 Democrats, underscores the continued backing for Israel in Congress amid global criticism.

The iShares MSCI Israel ETF EIS fell 0.6% on Wednesday.

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