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Middle East updates: Iran warns Israel against Lebanon plans

Published June 29, 2024last updated June 29, 2024

Iran said full involvement would be "on the table" if Israel launches a full-scale attack on Lebanon. Meanwhile, the US said it is removing the humanitarian aid pier off Gaza's coast due to weather conditions. Follow DW.

A civil defence worker inspects destroyed houses hit by an Israeli airstrike, in Chebaa, south Lebanon, Wednesday, June 26, 2024
Israeli officials have threatened a military offensive in Lebanon if there is no negotiated end to push Hezbollah away from the borderImage: Hussein Malla/AP/picture alliance
Skip next section What you need to know

What you need to know

  • Iran threatens "full involvement of all resistance fronts" should Israel attack Lebanon
  • The US said it was removing its temporary pier off the Gaza Strip, citing weather conditions
  • The US Central Command said it destroyed seven drones in Yemen

Here are the latest developments from the Middle East region on Saturday, June 29. This blog has now closed.

Skip next section Fighting in northern Gaza continues for 3rd day
June 29, 2024

Fighting in northern Gaza continues for 3rd day

Explosions, airstrikes and gunfire rocked northern Gaza on Saturday, the third day of an Israeli military operation that has uprooted tens of thousands of Palestinians.

At least 12 people were killed in Israeli strikes in parts of Gaza City, Palestinian medics said. The Israeli military said airstrikes hit targets in Shujaiya, a neighborhood in the east of Gaza City, including cells of militants who were about to attack Israeli soldiers. 

Forces also moved against gunmen on the ground and in tunnels, the military said, adding that large quantities of weapons and ammunition had been found in the operations.

The official Palestinian news agency WAFA said residential buildings were hit. The reports of fighting in Gaza could not be independently confirmed.

At the beginning of the year, Israel described northern Gaza as largely secure and Hamas as decisively weakened. Since then, however, the Islamist terrorist group appears to have regrouped.

Skip next section Serbian guard of Israeli embassy in Belgrade shot with crossbow, attacker killed
June 29, 2024

Serbian guard of Israeli embassy in Belgrade shot with crossbow, attacker killed

A Serbian policeman has killed a man who shot him in the neck with a crossbow outside the Israeli embassy in Belgrade, Serbia's interior minister has said.

Around 11 a.m. (0900 UTC/GMT) an "unknown person, whose identity is being determined, shot a member of the gendarmerie, who was on duty securing the Israeli embassy, from a crossbow and hit him in the neck," said Interior Minister Ivica Dacic.

The officer "used a weapon in self-defense and defeated the attacker, who died as a result of his injuries," Dacic added in a statement.

According to Dacic, several people have been arrested for "preventive reasons" and security in Belgrade as a whole has been tightened.

He called the attack "a terrorist act directed against the Serbian state and a member of the gendarmerie."

Dacic added that special prosecutors had taken over the case and that the wounded officer was undergoing surgery in hospital.

Skip next section US forces destroy 7 Houthi drones and a ground control station
June 29, 2024

US forces destroy 7 Houthi drones and a ground control station

US forces have destroyed seven Houthi drones and one ground control station vehicle in the past 24 hours, the US Central Command (CENTCOM) said.

In a statement on X, formerly Twitter, the CENTCOM said the destroyed objects "presented an imminent threat to the US, coalition forces, and merchant vessels in the region."

"These actions were taken to protect freedom of navigation and make international waters safer and more secure," the CENTCOM added.

The Yemeni, pro-Iran Houthi rebels have repeatedly targeted ships in the Red Sea since the start of the war between Israel and the Hamas militant group on October 7. The Yemeni group claims its actions are to show solidarity with Palestinians in the conflict in Gaza.

The US and UK have in response, conducted strikes targeting the Yemeni rebel group.

Houthis vow attacks until Israel ends war in Gaza

Skip next section US removes Gaza aid pier citing weather conditions
June 29, 2024

US removes Gaza aid pier citing weather conditions

The US cited rough weather conditions as the reason behind its decision to move a temporary pier it built off the coast of Gaza to help deliver aid in the strip.

"Today, due to anticipated adverse weather and heightened sea state, the temporary pier was moved from the coast of Gaza back to Ashdod, Israel," the US Central Command (CENTCOM) said on X, formerly Twitter.

CENTCOM said that since it began receiving aid on May 17, the pier has facilitated the delivery of over 8,831 metric tons (over 19.4 million pounds) to Gazans by humanitarian organizations.

"In the last week alone, more than 10 million pounds of aid was delivered to Gaza via the temporary pier, providing the second-highest volume of aid in all crossings," CENTCOM said.

Aid has been trickling into Gaza infrequently during the past eight months, especially since the closure of the Rafah border crossing last month.

The crossing with Egypt was closed on May 7 after Israel took control of the Palestinian side of the crossing. Cairo has said it will not coordinate aid shipments through the Rafah border crossing until Israeli forces withdraw.

Israel's Gaza bombardment creates dangerous trash piles

Skip next section Iran warns of 'full involvement' if Israel attacks Lebanon
June 29, 2024

Iran warns of 'full involvement' if Israel attacks Lebanon

Tehran has warned Israel against any potential attack on Lebanon, saying it could lead to "full involvement of all resistance fronts."

Iran's mission to the United Nations in New York, said in a statement posted on X, formerly Twitter, that "all options… were on the table."

The mission described Israeli suggestions that it was ready to attack Lebanon as "psychological warfare." Should Israel "embark on full-scale military aggression, an obliterating war will ensue," the post on X said.

Israeli forces have been engaged in constant hostile exchanges with Iran-backed Hezbollah militants since Hamas triggered the current Gaza conflict with its October 7 attacks that left 1,200 dead in Israel. 

Hamas is classified as a terrorist organization by the US, the EU and other governments.

Expert: Israel-Hezbollah war 'would be a disaster'

Israel recently said that its plans for a military offensive in Lebanon have been "approved and validated."

rmt/rm (Reuters, AFP, AP, dpa)