U.N. observers hurt in Lebanon blast; food for 1 million meals heads to Gaza

Four members of a United Nations peacekeeping team were injured in a blast in southern Lebanon, near a contentious demarcation line shared with Israel, the U.N. Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) said in a statement.

“The targeting of peacekeepers is unacceptable,” UNIFIL said, adding that it was “investigating the origin of the explosion.” The Israel Defense Forces denied any involvement.

According to UNIFIL, an explosion happened Saturday when three military observers from the U.N. Truce Supervision Organization and an interpreter were conducting “a foot patrol along the Blue Line” near the Lebanese town of Rmeish. They were evacuated for medical care, UNIFIL said.

Lebanon’s state-run National News Agency said the military observers were from Australia, Chile and Norway and said they had been “targeted by an Israeli drone.” Hezbollah-affiliated Al-Manar TV also said there was “preliminary information” that an Israeli drone was behind the attack, citing its correspondent. Neither provided any evidence for the claim, and The Washington Post could not immediately verify the reports.

A 400-ton shipment of aid left Cyprus for Gaza on Saturday, as hunger continues to be widespread among its population of roughly 2.1 million. Loaded with rice, pasta, flour, canned vegetables, dates and other goods, the convoy of ships is expected to bring in enough food to prepare 1 million meals, according to the nonprofit World Central Kitchen. It’s the second aid shipment organized by the WCK.

“We need to have more routes and more ways to deliver by land,” Juan Camilo, a community outreach manager for WCK, said in a video posted to social media. “There is not enough aid [arriving] to Gaza.”

Israel’s raid of al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City was continuing as of Saturday, in what the IDF says is a sweep for Hamas militants that started in mid-March. “A number” were killed outside the hospital, and Israeli forces killed two more in an “encounter” in the maternity ward, the IDF said. It added that forces killed militants in “close combat” and found weapons and “intelligence materials” at the complex. The Gaza Health Ministry said that 107 patients and 60 medical workers are still inside the hospital and that Israeli forces have prevented their evacuations. The Washington Post could not verify either side’s claims.

Protesters clashed with police in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem on Saturday night, with photos and videos showing crowds of demonstrators calling for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to do more to secure the release of Israeli hostages still held by Hamas. Some also called for Netanyahu’s resignation and new elections. Israel’s national police said 16 protesters were arrested in Tel Aviv after “several hundred protesters violated public order, lit bonfires, shook a police car, blocked roads and confronted the police.”

At least 32,705 people have been killed and 75,190 injured in Gaza since the war began, according to the Gaza Health Ministry, which does not distinguish between civilians and combatants. Israel estimates that about 1,200 people were killed in Hamas’s Oct. 7 attack and says 254 soldiers have been killed since the start of its military operation in Gaza.

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