Israel Latest: Aid Still Blocked as South Gaza Hit by Airstrikes

Israel’s air force struck southern Gaza after ordering Palestinians to seek refuge there, the Associated Press and pan-Arab media reported. At Egypt’s Rafah border crossing with Gaza, crucial humanitarian aid is being further held up.

(Bloomberg) — Israel’s air force struck southern Gaza after ordering Palestinians to seek refuge there, the Associated Press and pan-Arab media reported. At Egypt’s Rafah border crossing with Gaza, crucial humanitarian aid is being further held up.

US President Joe Biden is set to travel to Israel on Wednesday in a show of solidarity for the US ally after deadly attacks by militant group Hamas. He’s expected to meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ahead of a likely Israeli ground offensive on Gaza. 

Biden will then travel to Jordan for talks with King Abdullah II, Egypt’s Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas as he deepens efforts to stop the conflict spreading and further destabilizing the Middle East.

The US is also stepping up plans to get assistance to civilians in besieged Gaza, an important signal to Arab nations who’ve warned about the plight of Palestinians there.

For more on the Israel-Hamas war, click here.

(All timestamps are Israeli time)

Taking in Refugees a ‘Red Line’ for Jordan (11 a.m.)

King Abdullah II said Jordan won’t take in any Palestinian refugees displaced by the conflict, calling it a “red line” for both his nation and Egypt.

Speaking in Berlin after talks with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Abdullah accused “certain of the usual suspects” in the region, whom he didn’t identify, of attempting to “create de facto issues on the ground.” He warned them “not to try and push the Palestinian challenge and their future onto other people’s shoulders.”

Aid Trucks Held Up Near Egypt-Gaza Crossing (10:19 p.m.)

A convoy of humanitarian aid is still unable to enter Gaza, Khaled Zayed, chairman of the Red Crescent in Egypt’s North Sinai, told Al-Arabiya. The TV channel aired footage of dozens of trucks backed up near the Rafah border.

Mark Regev, a senior adviser to Israeli’s prime minister, told Times Radio in the UK that the crossing will open to allow foreign nationals to leave, with Israel seeking guarantees incoming aid won’t be commandeered to support Hamas.

“It’s just a matter of crossing the Ts and dotting the Is,” Regev said. “We are working on this; if it was easy, it would have been done already.”

Biden and Iraqi Premier Talk Ways to Contain War (9:14 a.m.)

Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani and the US president stressed the need for coordinated efforts to promote regional stability, the premier’s office said on X. The two leaders also emphasized the importance of containing the conflict.

“Israel’s continued aggression on Gaza is stirring the anger of the people in this region and the world,” Al-Sudani told Biden during the call, according to the state-run Iraq News Agency.

Israel Strikes in South Gaza, AP Says (8:50 a.m.)

Palestinians said there’d been heavy Israeli bombing in southern Gaza, the part of the besieged territory where Israel had told civilians to seek refuge, the Associated Press reported.

Israeli bombs struck sites west and southeast of Khan Younis and west of Rafah, the crossing to Egypt where thousands of people have massed to try and get out of Gaza, the agency said, citing local reports.

Israeli Army Kills 4 Attackers at Northern Border (8:40 a.m.)

Israel Defense Forces said the army killed four people who’d been attempting to infiltrate its security fence with Lebanon and plant explosives.

Egypt Aid Convoys Head Toward Gaza Border Crossing (8:30 a.m.)

More than 100 trucks loaded with food and medical supplies are arriving at Egypt’s Rafah border crossing, the only official non-Israeli-controlled entry point into Gaza, according to the Egyptian Food Bank.

Aid workers are hopeful the crossing will finally open at 9 a.m. to allow deliveries, the non-governmental organization said. Egypt on Monday said Israel’s stance didn’t permit the reopening, which would also let foreign-passport holders leave Gaza.

Israel Orders Freeze on Some Crypto Accounts, FT Says (7:23 a.m.)

Israeli authorities have ordered crypto-currency accounts to be closed and seized millions of dollars’ worth of crypto coins since the Hamas attacks, the Financial Times reported, citing unidentified people familiar with the actions. 

More than 100 accounts on Binance had been closed after Oct. 7, with authorities also requesting information on as many as 200 other accounts, mostly with Binance, the FT said. Binance confirmed it had blocked a small number of accounts since the summer and that it “follows internationally recognized sanctions rules.”

US Commander Arrives in Israel (6:15 a.m.)

US Central Command head, General Michael Kurilla, has arrived in Tel Aviv to conduct high-level meetings with Israel’s military leadership, according to a statement from the command. 

Kurilla is looking to gain a clear understanding of Israel’s defense requirements and outline US efforts to avoid an expansion of the conflict, it said.

US and Israel to Develop Gaza Aid Plan (4:17 a.m)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken offered few details except to say that the US and Israel would work on a way to get aid to civilians and create areas where people could get out of harm’s way.

“If Hamas in any way blocks humanitarian assistance from reaching civilians, including by seizing the aid itself, we’ll be the first to condemn it,” Blinken said in a brief statement in Tel Aviv. “And we will work to prevent it from happening again.”

Read: US and Israel to Develop Plan to Get Aid to Gaza, Blinken Says

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