War on Hamas: Netanyahu's wife intervenes in efforts to save hostages - attacks in Lebanon

In the dangerous border conflict with the Lebanese Hezbollah, Israel's army says it has now also attacked Shiite militia positions deep in the neighboring country.

War on Hamas: Netanyahu's wife intervenes in efforts to save hostages - attacks in Lebanon

In the dangerous border conflict with the Lebanese Hezbollah, Israel's army says it has now also attacked Shiite militia positions deep in the neighboring country. The Israeli military said on Monday evening that the air force had attacked two positions of the pro-Iranian Hezbollah in the Bekaa Valley in northeast Lebanon, confirming Lebanese reports. It was only the second time since the beginning of the war against the Islamist Hamas, which is allied with Hezbollah, in the Gaza Strip a good five months ago that Israel's military had attacked the area, located about 100 kilometers north of the country's border, the Israeli news site "Ynet" reported in the evening.

Since the beginning of the Gaza war after the Hamas massacre in Israel on October 7th, mutual attacks have occurred almost daily, concentrated in the border region. Israel wants to ensure that Hezbollah retreats behind the Litani River, 30 kilometers from the border - as stipulated in a UN resolution from 2006.

The attacks on Hezbollah air force locations in northeast Lebanon were in retaliation for their recent air strikes that targeted the Golan Heights, Israel's military said. According to Lebanese security sources, there were casualties in the Israeli attacks. Neither the Israeli nor the Lebanese information could be independently verified.

Hezbollah, which is classified as a terrorist organization by Germany and many other countries, primarily controls the south on the border with Israel, Shiite-inhabited districts of the capital Beirut and the Bekaa Valley. Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Galant recently announced that he would increase military pressure on Hezbollah in response to its daily attacks on Israel until it withdraws from the border. According to Lebanese sources, there will be indirect talks about a diplomatic solution during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, which began on Monday. War seems more likely every day without such a solution.

Meanwhile, Israel's army in the Gaza Strip says it has tracked down Marwan Issa - the third highest-ranking Hamas official in the sealed-off coastal area. He may have been killed, army spokesman Daniel Hagari said on Monday evening. The air force bombed underground facilities in the Nuseirat refugee camp on Sunday night. Issa used the tunnel, Hagari said. They are still checking whether Hamas' number three was actually among the victims of the air strike. Israel names the leader of Hamas in the Gaza Strip, Jihia al-Sinwar, and the head of the Islamists' Qassam Brigades, Mohammed Deif, as numbers one and two. "They are all dead men, we will get them all," said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, reaffirming his intention to lead his country to "absolute victory."

According to US intelligence agencies, however, it will be difficult for Israel to achieve its goal of completely eliminating Hamas, as the US newspaper "Wall Street Journal" reported on Monday. She quoted from the US intelligence community's latest report entitled "Annual Threat Assessment". It says Israel will likely face Hamas's armed resistance for years to come. Israel's military will have difficulty destroying Hamas' underground infrastructure, which allows the insurgents to hide, gather new forces and surprise Israeli forces.

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz has meanwhile called on the UN Security Council to put maximum pressure on Hamas to enable the release of hostages. "I call on the United Nations Security Council to put as much pressure as possible on the Hamas organization," Katz said on Monday at a meeting of the most powerful UN body in New York. The UN Security Council met to discuss a report presented a week ago in which the UN found Israeli allegations of sexual violence during the October 7 massacre in Israel by terrorists from Hamas and other extremist groups to be credible.

Federal Minister for Women Lisa Paus welcomed the meeting of the UN Security Council. But “more clarification is needed so that these heinous crimes and the terror of Hamas come to justice,” Paus told the German Press Agency on Monday in New York.

The UN special representative on sexual violence in conflict rejected an accusation by Israel that the United Nations wanted to suppress the report on sexual violence by Hamas terrorists. "The Secretary-General made no attempt to suppress my report or its findings," Pramila Patten said on Monday. She was responding to Israel's Foreign Minister Katz's accusation that the UN wanted to "sweep Hamas' crimes "under the carpet."

With an unusual initiative, Prime Minister Netanyahu's wife is now trying to get the hostages released. Sara Netanyahu addressed the mother of the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Mosa Nasser Al Missned, in a letter published on Monday evening. "I urge you, in the spirit of Ramadan, to use your great influence to push for the release of the Israeli hostages," Sara Netanyahu wrote in the letter, which was posted on her husband's account on the X (formerly Twitter) platform became.

Qatar, together with Egypt and the USA, have been mediating between Hamas and Israel for weeks. The mediators had hoped in vain to reach an agreement on a ceasefire and the release of hostages by Ramadan. The Israeli government assumes that the Palestinian extremists currently still have around 100 living hostages in their control in the Gaza Strip.