Far-right Israelis call for direct control, new settlements in Gaza

Some Israeli Cabinet members are causing controversy by proposing that the country control Gaza and resume Jewish settlements in the territory after eliminating the Islamic group Hamas.

More than 10 ministers, including those from a far-right party that is part of Netanyahu's coalition government, attended a rally organized by rightwing and far-right groups in Jerusalem on Sunday.

They said that Israelis should return to Gaza and control the territory if they do not want another October 7 attack.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to eradicate Hamas, but is negative about putting Gaza under direct control.

Other wartime Cabinet members are criticizing their colleagues who took part in the rally.

On Monday, the Israeli military said air and ground offensives are continuing in the southern Gaza city of Khan Younis, where it said Hamas has an operational headquarters, and in Gaza City in the north.

Health authorities in Gaza say 26,422 people have been killed since the offensives began.

They also say there are severe shortages of fuel for power generation and of medical supplies, so about 7,000 injured or sick people must be immediately transferred to hospitals outside Gaza.

Meanwhile, the Israeli Prime Minister's Office said on Sunday that "there are still significant gaps" in negotiations between Israel and Hamas.

The talks on releasing the hostages held by Hamas and halting the fighting are mediated by Qatar and Egypt also attended by the United States.

The Israeli media quoted government sources as saying that Hamas is strongly demanding a complete end to fighting.

They are also reporting that a wartime Cabinet meeting will be convened as early as Monday to discuss the direction of the negotiations.