Israel intensifies its bombardment of Rafah as US cautions against a potential ‘disaster’ – Latest Updates on Israel’s War on Gaza

Israeli forces launched airstrikes on areas in the southern border city of Rafah, where more than half of Gaza’s internally displaced population has sought shelter. The United States cautioned against a potential military incursion into the city, warning that it could result in a “disaster”.

Diplomatic efforts to negotiate a ceasefire were ongoing, with a Hamas delegation in Cairo for talks with key mediators Egypt and Qatar. Despite Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s rejection of a Hamas proposal for a ceasefire, the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken saw room for negotiations and stressed the need for Israel’s operation to prioritize the safety of civilians.

Hamas, in response to a proposal delivered by US and Israeli spy chiefs with Qatar and Egypt, had offered a ceasefire of four and a half months, contingent on the release of all hostages by Israel and the withdrawal of Israeli troops. However, Israel insisted on continuing its offensive until Hamas is eliminated.

The conflict had already resulted in significant casualties, with thousands of Palestinians killed and injured. The Israeli military continued to carry out airstrikes, further intensifying the fighting, while UN agencies struggled to provide aid to areas on the brink of famine due to access restrictions.

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