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A damaged neighborhood following Israeli airstrikes on Gaza City. Image Credit: AP

Israel bombarded Gaza with air strikes early on Monday and its aircraft struck southern Lebanon overnight, as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convened a meeting of his top generals and his war cabinet to assess the escalating conflict. Israel’s military spokesman said the country is stepping up its attacks, and there are growing expectations of a ground offensive.

Palestinian health ministry said more than 4,741 Palestinians killed and 15,898 wounded in Israeli strikes on Gaza since october 7, the Palestinian health ministry said.

More than 1,400 people in Israel have been killed, mostly in the initial Hamas attack . In addition, 203 people were believed captured by Hamas during the incursion and taken into Gaza , the Israeli military has said.

Follow the latest updates on Israel-Hamas war:

Red Cross says 'facilitated' release of two more Gaza hostages

The International Committee of the Red Cross said Monday that it facilitated the release of two more hostages held in Gaza, after two American women were freed Friday.

"We facilitated the release of 2 more hostages, transporting them out of Gaza this evening," the organisation wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

Russia says US military reinforcements in Mideast risk 'escalation'

The United States' reinforcement of its military presence in the Middle East risks an "escalation" of the war between Israel and Hamas, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Monday.

Speaking about the US deployment of warships to the region during a meeting in Tehran, Lavrov said "the more a state takes this kind of proactive measures, the greater the risk and the danger of an escalation of the conflict."

Israel strikes on Gaza kill more than 5,000

Israeli strikes have killed at least 5,087 people in Gaza since war erupted on October 7, triggered by massive attacks on Israel, Hamas officials in the Palestinian enclave said Monday.

Some 2,055 children and 1,119 women are among the dead, while 15,273 people have been injured in the relentless bombardments, the Hamas-run health ministry in the Gaza Strip added in a statement.

Third aid convoy enters Gaza

An aid convoy entered the besieged Gaza Strip on Monday via the Rafah border crossing, AFP correspondents on the Egyptian and Palestinian sides said, the third since war erupted on October 7.

More than a dozen lorries crossed Rafah, the correspondents said, adding to a previous total of 34 trucks that had entered Gaza on Saturday and Sunday according to an Egyptian Red Cross official.

The United Nations says at least 100 trucks a day are needed to provide the basic needs of Gaza's 2.4 million inhabitants as fighting triggered by a massive Hamas onslaught rages on, with thousands killed already.

At least 60 killed in overnight Israel strikes on Gaza

Israeli overnight strikes on the blockaded Gaza Strip have left at least 60 people dead, Hamas officials said Monday.

A statement from the Hamas government media office said "more than 60 were martyred in the (Israeli) raids" during the night, including 17 who were killed in a single strike that hit a house in Jabaliya, in northern Gaza.

EU top diplomat calls for 'more, quicker' aid

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell on Monday urged faster aid deliveries to Gaza, and said the bloc was debating calling for a "humanitarian pause" in Israel's campaign against Hamas.

"What's important, more, quicker, and in particular to enter the basic things that make water and electricity supply being restored," Borrell said, ahead of a meeting of EU foreign ministers.

World leaders call for adherence to humanitarian law

Several world leaders on Sunday spoke about the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, reiterating their support for Israel and its right to defend itself against terrorism and called for adherence to international humanitarian law, including the protection of civilians.

US President Joe Biden, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada, President Emmanuel Macron of France, Chancellor Olaf Scholz of Germany, Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni of Italy and Prime Minister Rishi Sunak of the United Kingdom also welcomed the release of two hostages and called for the immediate release of all remaining hostages.

They committed to close coordination to support their nationals in the region, in particular those wishing to leave Gaza.

The leaders welcomed the announcement of the first humanitarian convoys to reach Palestinians in need in Gaza and committed to continue coordinating with partners in the region to ensure sustained and safe access to food, water, medical care and other assistance required to meet humanitarian needs.

Netanyahu warns Hezbollah to stay out of war

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited troops stationed near the border with Lebanon, where the Israeli army and Iran-backed Hezbollah militants also have traded fire during the Hamas-Israel war.

A top official with Iran Hezbollah vowed Saturday that Israel would pay a high price whenever it starts a ground offensive in the Gaza Strip and said Saturday that his militant group based in Lebanon already is “in the heart of the battle.”

Speaking to troops in the north on Sunday, Netanyahu said Israel would react more fiercely than it did during its short 2006 war with Hezbollah, which is based in Lebanon.

“If Hezbollah decides to enter the war, it will miss the Second Lebanon War. It will make the mistake of its life. We will cripple it with a force it cannot even imagine and the consequences for it and the Lebanese state are devastating,” the Israeli leader said.

2nd batch of humanitarian aid entered Gaza

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A truck carrying humanitarian aid for the Gaza Strip crosses the Rafah border gate in Rafah, Egypt. Image Credit: AP

Israel says Sunday that a second batch of humanitarian aid was allowed into Gaza, at the request of the U.S. and according to instructions from other political officials.

US President Joe Biden and Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel “affirmed that there will now be continued flow of this critical assistance into Gaza,” the White House said in a statement after a phone call between the leaders.

Earlier Sunday, Egypt’s state-run media had reported that 17 aid trucks were crossing into Gaza on Sunday, but the United Nations said no trucks had crossed.

On Sunday, Associated Press journalists saw seven fuel trucks head into Gaza. Juliette Touma, spokeswoman for U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees, and the Israeli military said those trucks were taking fuel that had been stored on the Gaza side of the crossing deeper into the territory, and that no fuel had entered from Egypt.

UNRWA says there will be no humanitarian response without fuel

The U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees says it will run out of fuel in Gaza in three days.

“Without fuel, there will be no water, no functioning hospitals and bakeries. Without fuel, aid will not reach many civilians in desperate need. Without fuel, there will be no humanitarian assistance,” Philippe Lazzarini, the UNRWA Commissioner General, said in a statement Sunday.

A first delivery of aid that was allowed to cross into Gaza from Egypt on Saturday did not include any fuel.

“Without fuel, we will fail the people of Gaza whose needs are growing by the hour, under our watch. This cannot and should not happen,” Lazzarini said.

He called on “all parties and those with influence” to allow fuel into Gaza immediately, while ensuring that it is only used for humanitarian purposes.