Israel Latest: Gaza Border in Focus as Biden Plans Mideast Visit

Israel said it was working to allow civilians to exit Gaza through a crossing with Egypt. The Israeli military struck the south of the Gaza Strip after ordering people to seek refuge there.

(Bloomberg) — Israel said it was working to allow civilians to exit Gaza through a crossing with Egypt. The Israeli military struck the south of the Gaza Strip after ordering people to seek refuge there.

An adviser to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Hamas militants were to blame for closing their side of the border with Egypt where crucial humanitarian aid for Gaza is being held up.

US President Joe Biden is set to travel to Israel Wednesday as a show of solidarity after the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas. He’ll then be in Jordan for talks with King Abdullah II and Egyptian and Palestinian Authority leaders, who’ve criticized Israel’s response. Israel’s shekel and dollar bonds remained under pressure while globally bonds edged lower as investors weighed the latest efforts to contain the war.

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

(All time stamps are Israeli time)

Bonds Dip, Oil and Stocks Steady (11:46 a.m.)

Stocks struggled for direction and bonds edged lower as investors monitored diplomatic efforts to contain the conflict. Europe’s Stoxx 600 Index and futures contracts for US equities were little changed, while the 10-year Treasury yield rose three basis points.

Oil was steady, with WTO crude holding above $86 a barrel. “The current restraint in oil prices is highly conditional on the conflict not spilling over more widely,” said Vishnu Varathan, Asia head of economics and strategy for Mizuho Bank Ltd. in Singapore.

Only Cancer Hospital in Gaza Is Running Out of Fuel (11:44 a.m.)

The Turkish Friendship Hospital, Gaza’s only cancer hospital, said large parts of its services will stop due to fuel shortages and the rest will shut down within 48 hours, according to the Health Ministry there. Israel has blocked food and electricity supplies to Gaza.

Israel’s Shekel, Bonds Remain at Risk (11:35 a.m.)

The shekel remained vulnerable after falling past 4 to the dollar on Monday. The currency was little changed at 4.0139 per dollar, after sliding as much as 0.5% earlier Tuesday, while the benchmark stock index rose 0.3%, continuing Monday’s rebound. 

Most of the nation’s dollar bonds remained under pressure, with the yield on the security due 2030 climbing 16 basis points to almost 6%.

Iran’s Khamenei Says ‘Resistance’ Unstoppable (11:29 a.m.)

“If these crimes continue, Muslims and resistance forces will become restless and no one can stop them,” Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei said in a speech, referring to Israeli air strikes in Gaza that have killed civilians.

Iran’s foreign minister warned Monday the possible expansion of the war to multiple fronts was “approaching the inevitable stage.”

Read more: Understanding the Roots of the Israel-Hamas War: QuickTake

Israel Says Working to Allow Civilian Exit Through Rafah (11:28 a.m.)

Mark Regev, an adviser to Netanyahu, said Israel is working with international stakeholders to allow civilians to leave Gaza through the Rafah crossing that connects the territory with Egypt. He didn’t elaborate on whether all civilians would be allows out or only foreign nationals.

The opening of Rafah “was supposed to happen yesterday. We worked with relevant parties to make that happen yesterday. But unfortunately, Hamas prevented that from happening and they closed their side of the closing,” Regev told Bloomberg Radio.

Taking in Refugees a ‘Red Line’ for Jordan (11:00 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 a.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 earler 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.

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