Israeli planes bombed refugee camps in Gaza on Saturday as its troops expanded ground operations and tens of thousands of Palestinians fled their homes, setting the stage for a new year as bloody and destructive as the last three months of 2023.

The threat of wider escalation also looms large over the region, as skirmishes on the northern boundary with Lebanon intensify, and Israeli officials have hinted that the “diplomatic hourglass” is running out to reach a negotiated solution.

For now there seems little hope of even a temporary break in attacks, even after Egypt hosted leaders for talks last week and pushed plans for a staged break in the war. Source

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