Israel is continuing its air strikes in Gaza and is reportedly planning a ground invasion, over a week after Hamas terrorists infiltrated into Southern Israeli towns and massacred over 1,300 people.
Here are the highlights of the latest developments surrounding the ongoing Israeli war against the Palestinian Islamist terror group:
Israeli military targets over 50 Hamas targets in Gaza
Israeli Air Force (IAF) carried out strikes on at least 50 sites in Gaza overnight on Sunday, destroying lookout posts, command centers and missile launchers of the Palestinian terror outfit, according to Israeli local media reports.
Israeli airstrikes overnight constituted the heaviest sorties since fighting began last week, Reuters reported.
The report claims bombardments were most intense in Gaza City.
Biden says Gaza occupation will be a 'big mistake', likely to travel to Israel soon
United States President Joe Biden has said it would be a "big mistake" for Israel to reoccupy Gaza, but that Israel “has to respond” and "go after Hamas" after last week’s terror attacks.
He also compared the Hamas terror attacks to the Holocaust.
In an interview with CBS, Biden was asked if he would support an Israeli occupation of Gaza at this point.
“I think it'd be a big mistake,” he said.
“Look, what happened in Gaza, in my view, is Hamas and the extreme elements of Hamas don't represent all the Palestinian people. And I think that...It would be a mistake to...for Israel to occupy...Gaza again. We...but going in but taking out the extremists the Hezbollah is up north but Hamas down south. Is a necessary requirement," Biden said.
Biden also voiced support for further action against Hamas.
“Look, there's a fundamental difference. Israel is going after a group of people who have engaged in barbarism that is as consequential as the Holocaust. And so I think Israel has to respond. They have to go after Hamas," he said.
Further, Biden is considering a trip to Israel in the coming days but no travel has been finalised, news agency AP reported citing a senior US administration official.
The trip would be a powerful symbol of sympathy and support following the brutal terror attack by Hamas.
Israel's border with Lebanon heats up amid IDF's preparation for ground invasion of Gaza
Israeli towns close to the Lebanon border witnessed rocket fire on Sunday, in which eight people were injured.
The Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) responded by attacking military infrastructure in southern Lebanon with helicopters.
Besides Hamas in Lebanon, there were also reports of Hezbollah firing systematically to destroy IDF border surveillance equipment to blind its early warning invasion capabilities, much as Hamas made sure to eliminate many IDF border surveillance capabilities on 7 October as it was invading Israel's Gaza corridor.
Further, Hezbollah took responsibility for the firing of anti-tank missiles at IDF outposts near the Lebanon border, killing one man and wounding four others.
This comes as the IDF continued to move closer to the point at which it will invade Gaza, though there were bouts of rain during the day and ongoing negotiations internally within Israel about the war's aims as well as external negotiations about evacuating Palestinian civilians and humanitarian issues.
Rafah border crossing opens today
The Rafah border crossing from Gaza into Egypt is set to open today, NBC News reported citing Kamel Khatib, a representative for the Palestinian embassy.
The opening will allow foreign nationals to exit the beleaguered enclave while allowing in humanitarian goods.
Israel has in recent days agreed to ease its siege on the Strip imposed in the wake of the 7 October massacres.
On Sunday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken had said the crossing would be opening, but did not say when.
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