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Israel forces evacuation of south Gaza as it expands ground invasion

Smoke rises at the site of a house destroyed in an Israeli attack in Khan Younis, the southern Gaza Strip. (File photo by Reuters)

In an intimidating move typical of Israel, the regime has forced the Palestinians to evacuate several more areas in the besieged Gaza Strip.

Residents said the military dropped leaflets reading Khan Younis was “a dangerous combat zone.”

The people have been forced to move to the border city of Rafah or a coastal area in the southwest.

Halima Abdel-Rahman, a widow and mother of four, says she just ignores the leaflets. She fled her home in October to an area outside Khan Younis, where she stays with relatives. “The occupation tells you to go to this area, then they bomb it.”

“The reality is that no place is safe in Gaza. They kill people in the north. They kill people in the south.”

The Israeli military said on Sunday its ground offensive had expanded to every part of the besieged Palestinian territory.

Khan Younis in the south was previously designated as a safe area, thus making thousands of displaced Palestinians to flee to the city.

Heavy bombardment followed the leaflet drops.

The Gaza health ministry says hundreds of people have been killed or wounded since a weeklong ceasefire ended on December 1. “The majority of victims are still under the rubble.”

The human rights chief of the United Nations Volker Turk has urged an end to the war. He says the civilian suffering in Gaza is just “too much to bear.”

Melanie Ward, chief executive of the humanitarian organization Medical Aid for Palestinians, has said, “I cannot overstate the fear, panic and confusion that these Israeli maps are causing civilians in Gaza, including my own staff. People cannot run from place to place to try to escape Israel’s bombs, nor does international law expect them to.”


The Palestinian resistance movement Hamas says Israeli forces have directly bombed 14 hospitals. A few of the medical facilities in the Palestinian territory are now functional and they are inundated with thousands of the wounded.

Meanwhile, Hamas and the Islamic Jihad resistance movement have denounced a decision by Britain to conduct surveillance flights over the Gaza Strip, calling the move a military involvement in the “genocidal war” on the besieged territory.

Israel has killed nearly 16,000 Palestinians since it began its latest onslaught on Gaza on October 7.

Hopes for another temporary truce in Gaza faded as Israel called its negotiators home, and senior Hamas official Osama Hamdan said talks on releasing more hostages must be tied to a permanent ceasefire.

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