Tuesday Briefing: An Israeli Warning to Hezbollah

Smoke rose above the outskirts of Yaroun, a Lebanese village near the border with Israel, on Sunday.Credit…Hassan Ammar/Associated Press

Israel says attacks at the Lebanese border ‘demand’ a response

Top Israeli officials have warned that increased Hezbollah attacks on northern Israel carried out from Lebanon could prompt a powerful response, as Israeli troops waged street battles against Hamas in Gaza.

“Heightened aggression and increased attacks by Iranian-backed Hezbollah on Israel demand of Israel to remove such a threat,” Benny Gantz, a member of the war cabinet and former defense minister, told the U.S. secretary of state, Antony Blinken, in a phone call, according to a statement by Gantz’s office. That echoed remarks made a day earlier by the chief of staff of Israel’s military, who said that continued violence by the militia risked pushing his forces to make a “very clear change” in the confrontation. Follow our live updates.

In Gaza, the Israeli military said it had taken control of the area surrounding the former headquarters of Hamas in Gaza City, and that its forces were engaged in intense battles in three areas where it said the group still had “strongholds.”

Those include regions in the south where the U.N. has warned of a humanitarian disaster, raising fears of a potential mass displacement into Egypt.

On the ground: The Israeli military now controls the area in Gaza City surrounding Palestine Square, home to the headquarters for Yahya Sinwar, Hamas’s leader in the enclave, said Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, the military’s chief spokesman. Israeli forces are now focused, he said, on fighting in three areas: Jabaliya and Shajaiye in northern Gaza, and Khan Younis, the largest city in southern Gaza.

No end in sight: Israel, under international pressure to wind down its campaign in Gaza, is resisting setting a deadline for ending the war.

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