Israeli strikes continue as Gaza truce deal stalls

A media report says Israel has given Hamas one week to agree to a revised ceasefire deal, or it will begin a military operation in the southern Gaza city of Rafah. The Wall Street Journal quoted Egyptian officials on Friday.

Egypt has worked with Israel on the proposal that was presented to Hamas last weekend. Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said they are considering it in a "positive spirit," but they will send a delegation to Cairo soon for further discussions.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said he is ready to go ahead with a ground assault on Rafah "with or without" a deal. United Nations aid agencies are already bracing for a possible incursion.

Officials say they are setting up medical centers and supplies in Khan Younis and other parts of Gaza.

Still, they warn their contingency plans are merely "Band-Aids."

Jens Laerke, the spokesperson for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, said an assault would put hundreds of thousands of people at "imminent risk of death." He added that such an operation would not only be a "slaughter of civilians" but also an "incredible blow" to humanitarian operations in the entire Gaza Strip.

Local media say the Israeli military on Friday conducted an airstrike on Rafah that killed at least 6 people. More than a million Palestinians have sought refuge there. UN officials are reemphasizing the importance of "not having an attack" on the city.