Israeli forces seize Rafah crossing

Israeli leaders have sent troops into the southern Gaza city of Rafah, despite calls from around the world to refrain from a ground operation. On Tuesday, the forces seized control of a crossing vital to the delivery of aid.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said seizing the passage is a "very important step" to destroying "the remaining military capabilities of Hamas."

On the latest proposal for a ceasefire, Netanyahu said it is "far" from Israel's "necessary requirements." He has sent a delegation to Cairo to "stand firm" on those conditions.

Hamas leaders have also sent their representatives. They said the "occupation" of Rafah crossing is a serious crime and warn that, if such "aggression" continues, there will be no ceasefire deal.

White House national security spokesperson John Kirby said the operation is not the offensive the US has been warning about. He added that the Israelis have described it as one of "limited scope, scale and duration."

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said a full-scale assault would be a "strategic mistake" and a "humanitarian nightmare." Other UN officials say the takeover of the crossing has "choked off" aid to Gaza and that another vital crossing in Kerem Shalom remains closed.