Benjamin Netanyahu has reiterated his determination to carry out a ground invasion of Rafah despite growing pressure from Western allies.

The Israeli The prime minister rebuked Joe Biden, saying he had made it “absolutely clear” to the US president that he intended to carry out an attack on the south Gaza city ​​where he believes HamasThe remaining battalions are hiding.

But US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he hoped to reach a ceasefire agreement and the release of hostages during his upcoming trip to Gaza middle East.

Netanyahu has repeatedly threatened to invade Rafah.  Image: Reuters
Picture:
Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly threatened to invade Rafah. Image: Reuters

Meanwhile, Mr NetanyahuGovernment intelligence chief David Barnea attended talks in Doha aimed at a ceasefire, leaving Qatari officials “cautiously optimistic” but warning that any ground attack would set back negotiations.

A United Nations-backed report warned that “famine is looming in northern Gaza,” with about half of the territory’s population facing “catastrophic hunger.”

Without urgent action, famine is expected between now and May, according to the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification, an agency that monitors hunger worldwide.

In addition, the UN Human Rights Office referred to Israel’s restrictions on the entry of aid supplies Gaza could constitute a war crime – something Israel denies.

In other developments in Gaza:

• New Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Mustafa laid out plans for a revitalized Palestinian Authority and an independent trust fund to oversee reconstruction in the Gaza Strip.
• Italy expressed strong opposition to any Rafah invasion, with Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni warning of “even more catastrophic consequences for the civilian population crowded in the area.”
• Fighting in the Gaza Strip has killed at least 31,819 Palestinians since October 7 last year, the Hamas-run health ministry said.
• British Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden defended Israel’s right to protect itself but called for an “immediate ceasefire” in Gaza on humanitarian grounds.
• At least 15 Palestinians were killed by an Israeli airstrike on a house in al Nuseirat refugee camp, Palestinian health authorities said, adding that some people were believed to be trapped under the rubble of the three-story building.

Destroyed buildings in Gaza, seen from southern Israel.  Image: AP
Picture:
Destroyed buildings in Gaza, seen from southern Israel. Image: AP

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Palestinians outside a UN warehouse as famine could be 'imminent'.  Image: Reuters
Picture:
Palestinians outside a UN warehouse as famine could be ‘imminent’. Image: Reuters

Recent weeks have seen growing tensions between Israel and a number of its Western allies, who have become increasingly vocal about the country’s military actions in Gaza.

This came as the UN warned of possible war crimes by Israel related to the flow of aid to the area.

Palestinians receive help in front of a UNRWA camp.  Image: Reuters
Picture:
Palestinians receive help in front of a warehouse in Gaza. Image: Reuters

Jeremy Laurence, a spokesman for the UN human rights office, said: “The extent of Israel’s ongoing restrictions on the entry of aid into the Gaza Strip, as well as the manner in which it continues to conduct hostilities, could amount to the use of starvation as a method of war. “, which is a war crime.”

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