Palestinians described intense bombardments early Tuesday near two towns in southern Gaza, where Israel had ordered civilians to seek refuge.

Thousands of people trying to escape Gaza are gathered in Rafah, which has the territory’s only border crossing to Egypt. Mediators are pressing for an agreement to let aid in and refugees with foreign passports out. The United States hoped to break a deadlock with President Joe Biden set to head to Israel and Jordan on Wednesday.

Aid workers warned that life in Gaza was near complete collapse because of the Israeli siege that followed a Hamas terror attack on Israel.

The war that began Oct. 7 has become the deadliest of five Gaza wars for both sides. The Gaza Health Ministry said 2,778 Palestinians have been killed and 9,700 wounded. More than 1,400 Israelis have been killed, and at least 199 others, including children, were captured by Hamas and taken into Gaza, according to Israel.

Here’s what’s happening in the latest Israel–Hamas war:

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