Israel has begun airstrikes on Rafah and intends to dispatch a delegation to further Gaza cease-fire discussions.

The southernmost city of Rafah was targeted by the Israel Defense Forces on Monday, as it continues its military operation to put pressure on Hamas and achieve its war objectives.

The Israeli Prime Minister’s Office stated that the decision to strike Rafah was made unanimously by the War Cabinet, with the aim of securing the release of hostages and other goals of the war. These strikes were launched despite Hamas announcing a cease-fire proposal brokered by Qatar and Egypt, which Israel deemed insufficient. In an effort to explore the possibility of an agreement acceptable to Israel, a delegation of mediators will be sent to engage in negotiations. However, Israel’s military actions in Rafah, a crucial humanitarian aid passage, have disregarded repeated warnings from the United States to refrain from such attacks.

The U.S. National Security Council spokesperson expressed concern about the potential risks faced by over a million innocent people due to operations in Rafah. President Joe Biden also conveyed this message to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a phone call. Additionally, the U.S. temporarily halted a shipment of weapons to Israel, including 2,000-pound bombs.

The White House is currently reviewing the cease-fire proposal and has yet to indicate its position on the plan. The State Department plans to engage in discussions with Egypt, Qatar, and Israel to further assess the proposal.