All the latest events on the war between Israel and Hamas and the conflict in the Middle East.
Israeli airstrikes in the Gaza Strip on Monday killed dozens of people, including two children aged twelve and two.
The Israeli military said its armed forces were fighting Hamas militants who remain in northern and central Gaza.
The Gaza Health Ministry, run by the Hamas militant group, said on Sunday that 113 bodies had been brought to hospitals in the space of 24 hours, bringing the total death toll to 27,478 people.
The ministry does not distinguish between civilians and combatants, but says most of the dead were women and children.
This followed a day of deadly Israeli attacks on the city of Deir al-Balah on Sunday.
Israel has maintained its airstrikes on Gaza while resisting international calls for a ceasefire.
The United States continues its diplomatic efforts
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived in Saudi Arabia on Monday for his fifth visit to the Middle East since war broke out between Israel and Hamas in Gaza in October.
The State Department says Blinken will also travel to Egypt, Qatar, Israel and the West Bank for talks with regional leaders that will last most of the week.
Blinken’s latest trip comes amid a flurry of diplomatic activity and discussions over a possible new deal for a pause in Israeli military operations in exchange for the release of hostages held by Hamas.
But the trip also comes as fears have grown in recent days over a possible escalation of the conflict with continued attacks on US personnel and bases in Iraq, Syria and Jordan, as well as intensified military attacks on commercial shipping in the Red Sea by Yemen’s Houthi rebels, backed by Iran.
Stéphane Séjourné travels to Egypt
France’s newly appointed Foreign Minister Stéphane Séjourné used his first visit to Israel on Monday to call for an “immediate ceasefire” and a “massive influx” of humanitarian aid to besieged Gaza, as he met with the first Israeli Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem.
Later, at a press conference, Séjourné said that France’s role as a “friend” was to tell Israeli leaders some truths that “they may have difficulty hearing.”
“For four months, the population of Gaza has been living under bombardment and an almost total siege. They are deprived of the minimum help they need to treat their wounds, protect themselves against epidemics and feed themselves,” said Séjourné.
France was one of the EU member states that voted for a humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza at the UN General Assembly in December. But the 27-nation bloc has been unable to agree on a unanimous call for a cessation of hostilities.
On Sunday, Séjourné also met with his Egyptian counterpart in the New Administrative Capital.
In a press conference after the meeting, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry warned of a broader conflict in the region if a ceasefire in Gaza was not reached.
“The war in Gaza, the threats we are seeing to shipping in the Red Sea, the military operations that took place in Syria and Iraq, as well as the military situation on the Israeli-Lebanese borders, all warn of the escalation of the situation. and sliding into a broader conflict,” Shoukry said.
The European Union on Saturday expressed deep concern over reports that the Israeli military intends to take its battle against Hamas to the town of Rafah on Gaza’s border with Egypt, where more than a million people have fled the combats.
Such an offensive could push refugees toward Egypt, undermining Israel’s peace deal with the country and angering the United States.