The United States has firmly opposed a ceasefire, saying that any discussions for a ceasefire must only proceed if Hamas agrees to release all its hostages in Gaza. White House spokesperson John Kirby reiterated this stance, supported by President Joe Biden, as they emphasised the need for Hamas to take this crucial step.

Simultaneously, the US urged Israel to postpone ground assault on Gaza to facilitate hostage release and aid delivery. However, there appears to be disagreement between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his military officials on the timing of such an operation. Israel continues its airstrikes in Gaza, while the US has expressed concern over the lack of a clear Israeli military plan to eliminate Hamas.

In preparation for a potential ground assault, the Pentagon has sent military advisers and air defence systems to support Israel.

Shortages of food, shelter, and drinking water have pushed some residents to return to the north. Israel issued evacuation orders for nearly half of Gaza’s 2.3 million people on 13 October, contributing to a mass displacement of nearly two-thirds of Gaza’s population, according to the United Nations.

The UNRWA Director in Gaza, Thomas White, noted that people struggle to find shelter, face food scarcity, and are forced to consume unpotable water.

Meanwhile, two Israeli hostages, Yokheved Lifshitz, 85, and Nurit Yitzhak, 79, were released by Hamas on Monday night. Medical staff reported that both women appeared to be in good health.

Qatar and Egypt brokered the release of these women. Israeli media reported ongoing efforts by the US and Qatar to negotiate the release of 50 dual nationals still held by Hamas.

The UN and EU officials have called for a humanitarian pause in fighting to facilitate aid delivery to Gaza.

Israel carried out airstrikes targeting a Gaza refugee camp, and Palestinian media reported that five people were killed in the attack. Gaza’s health authority reported that Isreal has so far killed over 5,000 people, mostly women and children, since the start of its bombing campaign two weeks ago.

The Israel launched a no-holds-barred bombardment of Gaza after a group of Palestinian resistance fighters attacked Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories on 7 October, resulting in around 1,300 casualties and the capture of hostages.