Israel Latest: Western Leaders Link Efforts to Stop War’s Spread

US President Joe Biden talked with leaders from Canada, France, Germany, Italy and the UK, intensifying diplomatic coordination to prevent the Israel-Hamas conflict from spreading.

(Bloomberg) — US President Joe Biden talked with leaders from Canada, France, Germany, Italy and the UK, intensifying diplomatic coordination to prevent the Israel-Hamas conflict from spreading. 

Israel kept up airstrikes on Gaza while appearing to hold off on a ground invasion as diplomatic efforts continue to secure the release of more hostages. Oil edged lower after two weeks of gains, while Israeli data is set to show the economic impact of the attacks by Hamas, which is designated a terrorist group by the US and European Union.

Further international aid is expected into Gaza through the Rafah border point with Egypt on Monday. Two convoys that crossed over the weekend were dubbed “a drop in the ocean” compared with needs in the besieged Palestinian territory. The United Nations says at least 100 trucks a day are required.

(All time stamps are Israeli time)

Israel Says It Struck 320 Gaza Targets in Past Day (8:54 a.m.)

Israel said it continued to hit military targets in Gaza, including command centers, compounds, observation posts and tunnels. The Israel Defense Forces struck sites “that posed a threat to forces in the area surrounding the Gaza Strip who are preparing for ground operations,” it said.

Israel Waiting for More US Troops Before Entering Gaza, Report Says (7:27 a.m.)

The US has informed Israel it will send additional troops to the Middle East, Israel’s Army Radio reports. This persuaded Israel to delay its ground incursion in the Gaza Strip, the report said, giving no detail on the source of the information regarding US troops. Unnamed Israeli officials tell the station there are additional considerations holding up the operation, including ongoing diplomatic efforts to free the hostages held in Gaza.

Central Bank to Outline Economic Impact, Set Rates (7:00 a.m)

Israel is likely to offer its first accounting of the conflict’s toll on the economy, with the central bank reviewing interest rates Monday, just over two weeks after the Hamas attacks forced emergency measures to stabilize markets.

Updated forecasts from the Bank of Israel’s researchers will accompany the rate decision that almost all economists predict will extend a pause in place since July. 

Oil Falls as Israel Seen Delaying Invasion (4:14 a.m.)

Oil edged lower — after two weeks of gains. Global benchmark Brent dipped below $92 a barrel and West Texas Intermediate traded near $88. 

Brent has advanced about 8% since Hamas’s Oct. 7 attack on concerns the conflict could drag in Lebanon, Iran and potentially the US. The Middle East supplies around a third of the world’s crude and the main risks for the market are that Washington ramps up compliance checks on sanctioned Iranian oil and that Tehran disrupts key shipping routes.

Biden, Leaders Commit to Prevent War Spreading (2:42 a.m.)

Biden spoke with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, France’s Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, and UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak regarding the ongoing conflict, the White House said.

They also committed to preserve stability in the Middle East and work toward a political solution and durable peace, according to a statement.

Biden, Netanyahu Pledge More Aid (11:07 p.m.)

Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged a “continued flow” of “critical assistance into Gaza” after the first two convoys crossed from Egypt. In a phone call Sunday, they also discussed securing the release of hostages and safe passage for civilians who want to leave Gaza, the White House said in a statement.

Aid that’s arrived so far is “a drop in the ocean,” said Tommaso Della Longa, spokesperson for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. A problem is not just quickly dwindling supplies of food but the fear of going out to find it amid the bombing, he said. 

French, Dutch Leaders to Visit Israel (9:50 p.m.)

French President Emmanuel Macron and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte will arrive in Israel in the next two days to meet with Netanyahu. He held a series of talks with Western leaders on Sunday, repeating Israel’s determination to eliminate Hamas.

Hostage Talks May Delay Gaza Invasion (9:15 p.m.)

Israel supports diplomatic efforts to get Hamas to release hostages from Gaza quickly and in large numbers, a move that may delay and possibly alter its ground war, according to people familiar with the negotiations. 

The role of hostage releases in Israel’s military planning took on concrete meaning on Friday, when an American mother and her 19-year-old daughter from Chicago were set free through the mediation of Qatar. 

Egypt Reports Minor Injuries From Israeli Tank Misfire (6:39 p.m.)

Egypt said some of its personnel received minor injuries after being hit by shell fragments when an Israeli tank accidentally fired at a border post in the area of Kerem Shalom on Sunday. 

The incident is under review by Israeli’s military, which expressed “immediate” regret. 

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