Israeli air strikes kill at least 19 in Rafah, says Al Jazeera

Israeli air strikes have killed at least 19 people in the southern Gaza city of Rafah, says Qatar-based satellite television Al Jazeera.

The broadcaster reported on Monday that the Israeli military bombed three houses in the city.

Israeli forces are showing readiness to launch a ground offensive there.

On Sunday, an international aid group, the World Central Kitchen, said it will resume operations in the Gaza Strip. The group suspended operations earlier this month after an Israeli air raid killed seven staff members.

The group said, "We have been forced to make a decision: stop feeding altogether during one of the worst hunger crises ever...or keep feeding knowing that aid, aid workers and civilians are being intimidated and killed."

It added, "Ultimately, we decided that we must keep feeding, continuing our mission of showing up to provide food to people during the toughest of times."

The group said it had 276 trucks with the equivalent of almost 8 million meals ready to enter through the Rafah Crossing. It also plans to deliver food to Gaza by sea.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has left for the Middle East to discuss ongoing efforts to achieve a ceasefire in Gaza and secure the release of hostages held there.

A Hamas delegation is reportedly planning to visit Egypt on Monday for talks on a pause in fighting and the hostage release.