Gold prices hit their highest in almost a week on Monday as the U.S. dollar retreated slightly and conflict in the Middle East buoyed bullion's safe-haven appeal.

Spot gold was up 0.2% at $2,016.45 an ounce by 1247 GMT at its highest since Feb. 13.

U.S. gold futures rose 0.2% to $2,028.20.

"Gold is taking benefits from the slide in the U.S. dollar and also the new escalation of tensions in the Middle East," said Carlo Alberto De Casa, market analyst at Kinesis Money.

Israel expects to continue full-scale military operations in Gaza for another 6-8 weeks as it prepares to mount a ground invasion of the enclave's southernmost city, Rafah, four officials familiar with the strategy said.

A UK-registered cargo ship reported coming under attack in the Bab al-Mandab Strait off Yemen on Sunday and the UK Maritime Trade Operations agency reported crew abandoning ship off Yemen after an explosion.

The dollar index was down about 0.1%. A weaker U.S. currency makes dollar-priced metals cheaper for buyers holding other currencies.

All eyes will be on the minutes from the Fed's January policy meeting, due on Wednesday, for more clues on the timing of cuts to interest rates, which would decrease the opportunity cost of holding bullion.

Markets are pricing in a 74% chance of a cut in June, according to the CME Fed Watch Tool.

In other precious metals, spot platinum edged up by 0.4% to $908.90 an ounce, palladium was steady at $949.56, and silver retreated by 1.5% to $23.04.

(Reporting by Anjana Anil in Bengaluru; Editing by David Goodman and Bernadette Baum)