Gaza Strip: Israel stepped up its bombardment of Khan Younis, Gaza’s second largest city, and its environs on Tuesday morning in a bloody new phase of the war in Gaza. The attack was so horrific that ambulances and private cars were seen taking the injured to local hospitals afterwards. Under US pressure to avoid heavy casualties, Israel has said the attack is being carried out more precisely. Israel is intensifying its offensive in southern Gaza after destroying most of northern Gaza. Aerial bombardment and ground attacks have already forced three-quarters of the region’s 2.3 million people from their homes.
‘My children have been in ruins since 10pm’
Ambulances carrying dozens of injured people reached Nasir Hospital in Khan Younis throughout the night. At one point a car stopped and a man got out carrying a young boy covered in blood, whose arm had been blown off in the bomb blast. A woman outside the emergency department kept asking, ‘Where’s the Red Cross?’ Where is the United Nations? My kids are still in a wreck since 10pm. Satellite images taken on Sunday showed tanks and soldiers gathering outside Khan Yunis, the latest target of the attack. Before the war, the area was home to over 400,000 people.
Most of Gaza’s population depends on the United Nations.
Just as Israel ordered people to leave the northern areas, it has ordered the evacuation of people from about two dozen surrounding areas instead of the entire area. Most of Gaza’s population is already at the mercy of the UN in the south, so there are only a few places left to vacate. Israel has barred people who fled the north from the start of the war from returning there. The Palestinians said that Israeli attacks are continuing in the area, so there is no area left where they feel safe. Many fear that if they leave their homes, they will never be allowed to return.
‘Hamas is turning people into human shields’
Israel says that to prevent a repeat of an attack like October 7, Hamas’s military infrastructure must be destroyed and it must be removed from power. The surprise attack by Hamas and other Palestinian militants killed about 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and took about 240 men, women and children hostage. The Israeli military has accused Hamas of using civilians as ‘human shields’. The Israeli military said Hamas fights in populated areas where it has built tunnels, bunkers, rocket launchers and sniper positions.
People were seen crying and screaming after the Israeli attack.
‘It felt like lightning in the sky’
The Israeli army says that 84 of its soldiers have been killed in the Gaza offensive. According to evacuation maps released by the Israeli army, since the end of the ceasefire, the army has ordered the evacuation of the population from Khan Younis and its surrounding area of about 62 square kilometers. Due to continuous bombing near Khan Younis, the sky of the city was repeatedly struck by lightning on Monday evening. Leaflets dropped by Israeli forces warned people to head south to the Egyptian border. However, they cannot even leave Gaza because both Israel and neighboring Egypt have refused to accept any refugees.
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