Israel said it is prepared to fight for months or longer to defeat Gaza’s Hamas rulers, as its ground offensive intensifies with more airstrikes and artillery fire.
Qatar, which has played a key mediating role, said efforts to stop the war and have all hostages released will continue, but a willingness to discuss a ceasefire is fading.
Israel faces international outrage after its military offensive has killed more than 17,700 Palestinians in Gaza, about two-thirds of them women and children, according to the Hamas-controlled Health Ministry.
About 90% of Gaza’s 2.3 million people have been displaced within the besieged territory, where UN agencies say there is no safe place to flee.
The United States has provided vital support to Israel in recent days by vetoing a United Nations Security Council resolution calling for a ceasefire and pushing through an emergency sale of more than 100 million US dollars’ (£79 million) worth of tank ammunition to Israel.
The UN General Assembly plans to vote on Tuesday on a similar resolution.
Israel said 97 of its soldiers have died in its ground offensive after Hamas raided southern Israel on October 7, killing about 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and taking about 240 hostages.
With only a trickle of humanitarian aid reaching a small portion of Gaza, residents face severe shortages of food, water and other basic goods.
Some observers worry that Palestinians will be forced out of Gaza altogether.
Enjoy the convenience of having The Sunday Post delivered as a digital ePaper straight to your smartphone, tablet or computer.
Subscribe for only £5.49 a month and enjoy all the benefits of the printed paper as a digital replica.Subscribe