Palestinians flee Khan Younis as Israeli forces strike south Gaza

The UN says 250,000 Palestinians in southern Gaza have been affected by evacuation orders from the Israeli military.

Many people have been fleeing areas in and around the second city of Khan Younis on foot and by car.

Patients and medical staff have also been leaving a major hospital in the area, although the military said they were not subject to an evacuation order.

Gazan health officials say eight Palestinians were killed and dozens wounded during overnight Israeli strikes.

Louise Wateridge, an official with the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (Unrwa) in Gaza, asked where people could go as they were forced to leave their homes once again.

“In this area, people were already forced to survive in severely damaged, destroyed, structurally unsafe buildings after the Rafah military operation,” she said.

Once again on the move – huddled on carts, motorbikes and pickup trucks – thousands of Palestinians have been fleeing towns and villages to the east of Khan Younis.

After issuing evacuation orders on Monday evening, the Israeli military mounted strikes overnight on the area from which it says around 20 projectiles were fired into Israel on Monday morning – the biggest such barrage for months.

The military said it hit targets including a weapons storage facility and operational centres of Palestinian armed groups.

The Palestinian Red Crescent Society said that eight people were killed and more than 30 wounded.

The armed wing of Palestinian Islamic Jihad said it carried out the rocket attack on Monday, but the military again accused Hamas of continuing to “systematically violate international law while using civilian infrastructure and the civilian population as human shields”.

Among those fleeing a possible Israeli ground assault were patients and medical staff at the city’s European Gaza hospital, which is now all but deserted.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here