Israel Latest: Army Offers Gaza Safe Corridor as Blinken Returns

President Joe Biden is weighing a trip to Israel, adding to the US diplomatic push after Secretary of State Antony Blinken met Arab leaders to discuss the Israel-Hamas war and efforts to provide humanitarian assistance to people in Gaza.

(Bloomberg) — President Joe Biden is weighing a trip to Israel, adding to the US diplomatic push after Secretary of State Antony Blinken met Arab leaders to discuss the Israel-Hamas war and efforts to provide humanitarian assistance to people in Gaza.

Blinken is scheduled to return to Israel on Monday for the second time since the Oct. 7 attacks by Hamas — designated a terrorist organization by the US and European Union — which killed at least 1,300 Israelis. The US said it held talks with Iran through back-channels and warned Tehran against escalating the conflict. Palestinian officials say Israel airstrikes have killed more than 2,650 people in Gaza.

Israel is opening a safe corridor from north Gaza again on Monday, and estimates that more than 600,000 people have already left Gaza City and its surroundings for southern Gaza. The army is, meanwhile, evacuating residents in the north who live up to 1.2 miles from the Lebanon border. 

(All timestamps are Israeli time)

Israel Evacuates Residents Who Live on Lebanon Border (9:16 a.m.)

Israel’s army said it’s evacuating residents in the north who live up to 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) from the Lebanon border. The evacuation order applies to 28 communities, whose residents will be housed in state-funded guest houses, the Ministry of Defense and Israel Defense Forces said in a statement.

IDF Opens Safe Corridor out of North Gaza (7:58 a.m.)

The Israeli military said it will refrain from targeting a designated axis in Gaza from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. local time on Monday to allow safe evacuation from north Gaza to the area south of Wadi Gaza and Khan Yunis.

Israel Announces Another ‘Safe Passage’ For Gazans to Move South

The IDF has been urging residents of Gaza City and north Gaza to evacuate “for their own safely” and said last night that 600,000 people had left the area. Israel blames Hamas for trying to stop this mobilization and has repeatedly said it knows that the evacuation “will take time.”

Malaysia PM Plans to Discuss Palestinian Issue With Muslim Leaders (7:08 a.m.)

Malaysia Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim told Parliament he would hold talks with leaders of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Egypt and Turkey on their next course of action regarding Gaza.

“The West is hypocritical on what is happening in Palestine,” he said on Monday. “It was quick to take action when Russia invaded Ukraine but it is slow in its response to what is happening in Palestine now.”

Biden Condemns Deadly Attack On Muslim Family (6:45 a.m.)

Biden said he was “shocked and sickened” to learn about the murder in the US of a 6-year-old Palestinian boy and wounding of his mother in an alleged hate crime inspired by the Israel-Hamas conflict.

Police allege that a 71-year-old man repeatedly stabbed the Muslim family, who were his tenants, on a Saturday attack in the southwest Chicago suburbs. Biden met law enforcement and national security officials Friday to discuss steps the federal government was taking to safeguard Jewish and Muslim communities.

Hamas Officials Killed, Israel Military Says (4:10 a.m.)

Several Hamas officials, including those in the military and financial sectors, have been killed, Israel Defense Forces spokesman Jonathan Conricus said in a session with journalists on the X social media platform.

Conricus said Hamas is trying to hide behind civilians as Israel hunts its commanders. “We are not trying to kill civilians. We are at war with Hamas,” he said. 

One Israeli civilian was killed by anti-tank missiles fired across the border from Lebanon, he said. 

Biden Is Considering Visit to Israel (3:01 a.m.)

US President Joe Biden is considering a trip to Israel after being invited by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, according to two people familiar with the internal discussions.

No decision’s yet been made, the people said. Adrienne Watson, a spokesperson for the National Security Council, said in a statement the White House did not have travel to announce.

Global Markets on Edge (3:00 a.m.)

Efforts by the US and its allies to prevent the conflict from engulfing the wider region helped keep financial markets stable, if nervy, at the start of the trading week on Monday. Haven assets such as the dollar, US Treasury bonds and gold held most of their gains after surging on Friday on concern a ground invasion was imminent. Crude oil was little changed after Brent jumped above $90 a barrel Friday.

Treasuries Fall Amid Efforts to Calm Middle East: Markets Wrap

Israeli stocks fell again on Sunday, the start of the country’s trading week. The main index dropped 3.6%, extending losses since Hamas’s attack on southern Israel to almost 10%.

Thirty US Citizens Confirmed Dead (12:09 p.m.) 

The US State Department confirmed the deaths of 30 American citizens since the violence started and that another 13 American nationals remain unaccounted for, according to a spokesperson. 

The government is working to determine the whereabouts of the missing Americans and is advising the Israeli government on hostage recovery efforts. 

Israel Criticizes Vatican For Comparing Israeli, Palestinian Victims (8:42pm)

Israel’s foreign minister said he expects a stronger condemnation from the Vatican following the Hamas massacre. In a conversation with his counterpart in the Holy See, Eli Cohen said “there’s no room for absurd comparisons” between Hamas’ attacks on civilians and Israel’s retaliation. 

“It’s unacceptable that a statement will be released that primarily expresses worry for residents of Gaza while Israel buries 1,300 murder victims,” he said following the call with Paul Gallagher, the Vatican’s foreign minister.

Israel Says More Than 600,000 Gazans Have Moved South (8:30 pm)

More than 600,000 people from Gaza City and its surroundings have relocated south, following instructions from the Israel Defense Forces, IDF Spokesman Daniel Hagari said. 

This is despite efforts by Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, to keep them in the north to serve as human shields, he said. Hagari urged those remaining in the north to evacuate for their safety.

EU Calls for Israel to Let Humanitarian Aid Through (7:45 p.m.)

The European Union asked Israel to open the borders to Gaza for humanitarian aid to civilians, citing the “rapidly deteriorating” situation. “Supplies from outside urgently needed,” foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell said in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter.

No Gaza Occupation Planned, Israeli Diplomat Says (7:15 p.m.)

Israel has “no desire” to occupy Gaza, Michael Herzog, its ambassador to the US, said on CNN’s State of the Union. “We want people to be able to go back to their homes,” he said. “Our enemy is Hamas, not the Palestinian people.”

As Israel Readies Invasion, US Sees No Plan For What’s Next

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