Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has rejected a ceasefire proposal, which Hamas accepted last week, raising the possibility of ending the deadly Israeli onslaught on Gaza and freeing some of the 132 Israelis held in the enclave in exchange for thousands of Palestinians, including children, detained by the Israeli forces.

The rejection of the proposal comes amid intensified Israeli attacks in Gaza. Despite international pressure, Israeli troops advanced towards Rafah’s centre, while operations have been launched in several northern areas.

Reports confirm Israeli tanks penetrating deeper into the Jabalia refugee camp. The offensive forced thousands of Palestinians to flee their homes.

The European Union denounced Israeli evacuation orders in eastern Rafah.

Meanwhile, Egypt has announced its formal entry into the legal case against Israel at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in collaboration with South Africa.

Egypt’s decision to join the lawsuit follows Israel’s escalation of attacks on Palestinian civilians.

Since 7 October, Israel has killed at least 35,034 Palestinians, mostly women and children, and wounded 78,755 others in Gaza.