Israel battles Hamas in southern Gaza as officials convene in Paris for ceasefire negotiations.

Israeli forces engaged in intense battles with Hamas in southern Gaza on Sunday, according to the army, while officials from Israel, Egypt, and Qatar met in Paris for ceasefire discussions. The fighting in Gaza’s main southern city of Khan Yunis has resulted in heavy casualties, with the health ministry reporting at least 24 deaths from Israeli strikes. Simultaneously, the CIA’s director, William Burns, held talks with top officials from Egypt, Israel, and Qatar in an effort to negotiate the release of remaining Israeli hostages held by Hamas. The war, which has been ongoing for over three months, has led to a dire humanitarian crisis and mass displacement, with more than one million people squeezed into a small area near the Egyptian border. The United Nations has called for continued support for UNRWA, the agency responsible for Palestinian refugees, following funding cuts from top donors, including the United States and Germany. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged donor states to ensure the flow of vital aid to Gaza, emphasizing the desperate needs of the population. The International Court of Justice recently ordered an increase in aid to Gaza and called on Israel to prevent genocidal acts, without explicitly calling for an end to the fighting. Despite Israel’s accusations against some UNRWA staff, the agency’s chief warned that funding cuts were pushing its operations in Gaza to the brink of collapse. Protesters, including families of hostages, blocked the Kerem Shalom crossing in southern Israel, where aid is inspected and sent into Gaza. In Jerusalem, supporters of Israel’s resettlement of Gaza, including far-right cabinet ministers, gathered to urge Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to make their controversial dream a reality. Meanwhile, the United States blamed an Iran-backed group for a drone strike that killed three American troops and wounded 25 others in the Jordan-Syria border area.

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