The United Nations has revised its grim figure of the rising death toll from Israel’s bombardment of Gaza, saying that it has surpassed 5,000 as of Monday. It stands at 5,087. Separately, over 90 Palestinians have been killed in escalating West Bank violence, which over the weekend included Israel launching a rare airstrike on Jenin. Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) are still holding at least 222 Israeli and foreign captives – a number which has again been revised upward.
European Union foreign ministers are meanwhile gathered in Brussels for an urgent meeting to take up the contentious issue of a ceasefire. UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres has been calling on world bodies to back a ceasefire. In response, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said, “Personally, I think that a humanitarian pause is needed in order to allow the humanitarian support to come in and be distributed, seeing that half of the population of Gaza has been moving from their houses.”