Israel-Gaza War: Israeli troops are massed on the border with Gaza
Israel stepped up strikes on Gaza which is suffering a "catastrophic" humanitarian situation in the war sparked by Hamas attack, with officials claiming that at least 70 Palestinians died in the overnight bombing.
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Israeli troops are massed on the border with Gaza ahead of an expected ground invasion that officials have pledged will begin "soon", as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convened a late-night meeting of his top generals and war cabinet to assess the escalating conflict. The military said it had struck some 320 targets in the Palestinian enclave in 24 hours.
There were fresh exchanges of fire over Israel's northern border with Lebanon as fears grew that Iran-backed Hezbollah, a close ally of Hamas, could enter the conflict, prompting Netanyahu to warn it would be "the mistake of its life".
Israeli army spokesman Jonathan Conricus warned that Hezbollah was playing "a very, very dangerous game". "They're escalating the situation. We see more and more attacks every day," he said.
With the violence raging unchecked, Iran said the region could spiral "out of control". Iran's top diplomat Hossein Amir-Abdollahian cautioned that if the US and Israel did not "immediately stop the genocide in Gaza or the region will go out of control".
The US warned it wouldn't hesitate to act in the event of any "escalation", just hours after the Pentagon moved to step up military readiness in the region. "No one should take advantage of this moment to escalate to further attacks on Israel or, for that matter, attacks on us on our personnel," Secretary of State Antony Blinken said.
A second convoy of 14 aid trucks entered the Rafah crossing to the besieged Gaza Strip on Sunday night, with Biden and Netanyahu agreeing that there will now be "continued flow of this critical assistance into Gaza." The humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip is "catastrophic," five United Nations agencies said on Saturday, calling for more international help
A senior Hamas commander, Muhammad Katamash, was killed in Israeli airstrike late last evening. Katamash played a significant role in the planning and execution of the group's fire plans against Israel.
The US, the UK, France, Canada and Italy reiterated their support for Israel and its right to defend itself against terrorism, but urged the Jewish state to "protect civilians" in Gaza. The leaders also called for the immediate release of all remaining hostages.
Hamas last Friday released two hostages -- US citizens Judith Tai Raanan and her daughter Natalie Shoshana Raanan. The group took more than 200 people hostage when it stormed into Israel from the Gaza Strip on October 7. Intense negotiations to free the hostages are underway between several countries to get the hostages released.
Hamas crossed the border to launch the worst attack in Israel's 75-year history. They fired a barrage of rockets into Israel as hundreds of their operatives breached the high-security fence around the besieged enclave. Horror spread through Israel's border communities as more than 1,400 people were killed -- many of them shot dead, burned alive or mutilated. Israel has hit back with a relentless bombing campaign which has so far killed more than 4,650 Palestinians, mainly civilians, according to Gaza's health ministry.