US Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived in Saudi Arabia on Monday for another Middle East tour, hoping to secure a new truce in the Israel-Hamas war as Gaza saw no let-up in fighting.
On his fifth trip to the region since Hamas’s October 7 attack, Secretary Blinken landed in Riyadh and was later expected to visit Israel, Egypt and Qatar.
Over the weekend, Israel pressed further south towards the densely-crowded border city, warning that its ground forces could advance on Rafah as part of the campaign to eradicate Hamas.
On Monday morning, sources told AFP they could hear artillery shelling in the areas of eastern Rafah and Khan Yunis, where Israel believes high-ranking Hamas officials are hiding.
At least 128 people, mostly women and children, were killed in Israeli strikes overnight to Monday, according to the health ministry in the area.