Jordanian authorities issued warnings to the Houthi rebels in Yemen, as well as to Hezbollah and Hamas, following missile launches into Israel, due to concerns over the potential threat to Jordanian airspace, the Al-Rai Al-Youm newspaper reported late on Wednesday.
Jordan issued the warning following the Houthi's declaration they launched drones toward Eilat, Israel’s southernmost city, though it remains uncertain if the Yemeni military provided any guarantees.
Jordan, for its part, has informed parties that its defense forces will deal with any threat to Jordanian territory and has called on Hamas to intervene to prevent launches toward Eilat due to its proximity to the port city of Aqaba.
U.S. President Joe Biden and his and top aides have discussed the possibility that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's political career may be nearing its end, a notion he shared with the Israeli leader during a recent discussion, Politico reported Wednesday night.
According to two senior U.S. officials who spoke to Politico, there is concern within the Biden administration that Netanyahu might escalate the ongoing war against Hamas, linking his political fate to wartime actions.
The report reveals that as part of discussions about Netanyahu's political future, U.S. government officials are currently in talks with Minister Benny Gantz and former prime ministers Naftali Bennett and Yair Lapid. The White House denied the report, saying that Biden does not discuss Netanyahu's political trajectory.
The Israeli Air Force struck an anti-tank missile launch position, a Hezbollah terrorist base and several other targets in southern Lebanon Wednesday night. The army reported that IDF forces earlier engaged a terrorist cell poised to fire anti-tank missiles from Lebanese soil at Israel in the Mis Al-Jabal region. Another armed terrorist cell was eliminated in the same area. Furthermore, in response to rockets fired into the Kibbutz Yiftach area, IDF forces destroyed the launchers from which the terrorists had fired.
Earlier, in a letter to commanders and troops, IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi wrote, "We are progressing in the stages of the war and operating on enemy territory. Our operations will further intensify according to the stages of the war and its objectives, as defined by the Israeli government. While the war comes at a heavy cost, it's necessary. We are fighting for our right and the right of future generations to live safely and thrive in our homeland."
The IDF attacked targets in southern Lebanon on Wednesday after an anti-tank missile was launched at Israel. Lebanese military sources told the Al-Araby Al-Jadeed news site, affiliated with Hezbollah that the Lebanon army was continuing to hold joint inspections of the border area with the UN force deployed there (UNIFIL) and rocket launchers were found.
Lebanon Prime Minister Najib Mikati said on Wednesday that Lebanon is tired of war and seeks peace. "The decision to go to war is today in the hands of Israel," he said at the start of a cabinet meeting. He called for a 5-day humanitarian cease-fire in Gaza to be used by the international community to discuss a prisoner swap and bring about a permanent end to the fighting.
Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian who was on a visit to Turkey, warned on Wednesday of "harsh consequences" if Israel's attacks on Gaza, continue and cautioned that the conflict could spread. Earlier, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called on Muslim states to cease oil and food exports to Israel, demanding an end to its bombardment of the Gaza Strip, according to a report in the Iranian state media reported. "The bombings on Gaza must stop immediately ... the path of oil and food exports to the Zionist regime should be stopped," Khamenei said in a speech, according to Iranian state media.
IDF Spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said on Wednesday that there are a confirmed 240 hostages held by Hamas in Gaza and 326 members of the military, were confirmed killed since the October 7 Hamas massacre. Earlier the military said eleven soldiers were killed in the fighting in the northern Gaza Strip and that four others suffered serious injury. Defense Minister Yoav Gallant says the costs in the war are high but Israel will win the fight.
Seven of the soldiers were killed when an anti-tank missile was fired at them from a terrorist who emerged from an underground tunnel. Two others died from an IUD that exploded under their tank.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday that Israel's war in Gaza would be long but victorious, in a statement in which he also mourned mounting military losses. "We are in a tough war. It will be a long war," he said. "I promise to all citizens of Israel: We will get the job done. We will press ahead until victory."
On Wednesday, the military spokesperson said that its forces struck a Hamas stronghold in the Jabalia refugee camp, which was in a building surrounded by a school, a medical facility and the Hamas government institutions. The forces on the ground identified the target and an air strike was carried out. Forces also guided striking aircraft at a terror squad launching anti-tank missiles at troops. According to the military, more than 11,000 Hamas targets in Gaza since the war began.
Foreign Nationals were allowed by Hamas to leave the Gaza Strip for the first time on Wednesday in a deal mediated by Qatar, and included the removal of dozens of injured Palestinians from the Strip, to Egypt where they are to be treated in a field hospital built on the Egyptian side of the border.
Communications and internet services were said to be completely cut off in Gaza again on Wednesday after it was resumed last week following a communications blackout when the ground incursion began.
In a briefing early on Wednesday, the IDF said it had deployed missile boats in the Red Sea on Wednesday as reinforcements, a day after the Iran-aligned Houthi movement said it had launched missile and drone attacks on Israel and vowed to carry out more. Images disseminated by the military showed Saar-class corvettes patrolling near Eilat port in the Red Sea. The spokesperson said Israel was able to respond to the threat.
The Houthi rebels in Yemen said on Tuesday that they had launched three drone and missile attacks toward Israel since the start of the war and vowed to carry out more such attacks. After midnight on Tuesday night, the IDF Aerial Defense Array intercepted an aerial threat that was identified in the area of the Red Sea, south of the city of Eilat, according to the IDF Spokesperson's Unit, which added that no threat was posed to civilians and no infiltration into Israeli territory was identified. It is believed to be another attack by the Houthis from Yemen, who are supported by Iran.
Also very late on Tuesday night, the IDF intercepted a surface-to-air missile that was launched from Lebanese territory toward an IDF UAV, according to the IDF Spokesperson's unit. In response, IAF aircraft struck the origin of the missile launch, as well as the terrorists who carried out the launch.
The Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday that the decision of the Bolivian government to sever diplomatic ties with Israel is a capitulation to terror and to the Iranian regime after 1,400 Israelis were murdered and 240 were taken hostage including women and children. Colombia and Chile called their ambassador to Israel back for consultation in protest of the Israeli strikes on Gaza.
Japan's Foreign Minister Yōko Kamikawa will arrive on Friday for a visit after Tokyo expressed support for Israel's fight against Hamas.
U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken will visit Israel on Friday, against the backdrop of the pressure the U.S. is exerting on Jerusalem to increase humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip, including fuel. This will be Blinken's third visit since the outbreak of the war. Blinken discussed the need to bring humanitarian aid into Gaza with Jordan's King Abdullah II.
On Tuesday, the Senate approved the appointment of Jack Lew to the post of US ambassador to Israel on Tuesday. The appointment, whose confirmation process was accelerated following the start of the Gaza war, met with opposition from Republicans mainly due to Lew's part in the signing of former President Barack Obama's nuclear deal with Iran in 2015. Lew, who is Jewish, previously served as U.S. Treasury Secretary and as Obama's White House Chief of Staff. He replaces Tom Nides who left the position after two years due to "personal reasons."
Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Barbara Leaf, arrived in the country to start talking to senior officials in Israel.
At least three Palestinians were killed in the Jenin refugee camp overnight, found while destroying terror infrastructure.
They were identified hiding in an underground tunnel, when troops entered the camp and arrested a senior member of the Fatah group who directed terror attacks.
First published: 06:56, 11.01.23