Israel yesterday ordered Palestinians to leave parts of Khan Yunis, the main southern city in the Gaza Strip. However, residents said that the area they were told to go to is also being attacked by Israeli forces.
Israeli soldiers and tanks also continued a ground campaign against Hamas militants in the south of the enclave after largely taking control of the devastated north.
The Israeli army posted a map on the X social network yesterday showing roughly a quarter of Khan Yunis marked in yellow as territory that must be evacuated immediately. The three arrows pointed south and west towards the Mediterranean coast and towards the Rafah, near the Egyptian border.
Desperate Gazans packed up and headed for Rafah, most on foot, passing destroyed buildings in a silent procession, Reuters reported. However, Rafa was also under Israeli fire. The head of the United Nations agency in Gaza (UNRWA), Thomas White, said people there were being forced to flee.
"People are asking for advice on where to hide. We have nothing to tell them," White said.
The official Palestinian news agency announced that at least 50 people were killed yesterday in an Israeli attack that hit two schools housing displaced people in northern Gaza.
The Daraj settlement in Gaza City was hit, the WAFA agency announced, and was reported by Reuters, which could not confirm the report from independent sources.
Gaza's health ministry said at least 15.899 Palestinians, 70 percent of whom are women or under 18, have been killed in Israeli attacks on the enclave since October 7. Thousands more are missing and feared buried in the rubble.
About 900 people have been killed in Israeli airstrikes since the ceasefire ended on Friday
Israel launched the attack to eliminate Hamas, which rules Gaza, in retaliation for an attack by its attackers across the border on October 7. They killed 1.200 people and kidnapped 240, according to Israeli figures.
Israel accuses Hamas of putting civilians at risk because it operates from civilian areas, including in tunnels that can only be destroyed by large bombs. Hamas denies doing so.
As many as 80 percent of Gaza's 2,3 million citizens have fled their homes since the Israeli bombing campaign devastated most of the coastal strip.
Israeli forces largely captured the northern half of Gaza in November and, after breaking a week-long truce on Friday, quickly pushed deep into the southern half.
In Khan Yunis, many Palestinians who fled yesterday have already been displaced from other areas. Abu Muhammad told Reuters that this is the third time he has been forced to flee since leaving his home in the northern city of Gaza.
"Why did they drive us out of our homes in Gaza (city) if they planned to kill us here?" he said.
The US, Israel's closest ally, has urged it to do more to protect civilians in southern Gaza than in last month's campaign in the north. However, about 900 people have been killed in Israeli airstrikes since the ceasefire ended on Friday, Gaza health authorities said.
Omar Shakir, director of Israel and Palestine at Human Rights Watch, told Reuters: "All indications and reports point to a continuing pattern of dropping heavy bombs and using artillery in densely populated areas."