ISRAEL says two male Israeli hostages have been rescued in a raid in Rafah, amid reports of heavy Israeli air strikes on the southern Gazan city.
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) says the freed hostages are in “good medical condition”, and they have been taken to an Israeli hospital for medical tests.
Earlier, the Palestine Red Crescent Society said Rafah was under attack, with a number of deaths reported.
Israel said it had conducted strikes in southern Gaza, providing no details.
Local residents told the BBC that helicopters and boats were also involved in the attack.
There are conflicting reports on the casualties: the AFP news agency said 52 Palestinians – including children – were killed, citing Gaza’s Hamas-run health ministry. Meanwhile, Reuters put the death toll at 37, also quoting Gaza health officials.
On Sunday, the Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza said 112 more Palestinians had been killed by the Israeli military over the previous day, bringing the overall death toll to more than 28,100 and more than 67,500 injured.
A number of countries and international organisations have warned Israel against conducting its planned offensive in the city, where an estimated 1.5 million people are sheltering. Most of them have fled from the rest of Gaza.
A senior UN humanitarian official has told the BBC that there is nowhere safe for them to go now.
Rafah – on the border with Egypt – is the only open point of entry for humanitarian aid into Gaza.