New Delhi, Dec 4: As the conflict in Gaza continues, residents who had sought refuge in the southern city of Khan Younis are facing what they describe as the most intense wave of attacks since the onset of the conflict.
Earlier Israeli safety directives had prompted Gazans to move south, away from the Israeli ground offensive in the north. However, since the ceasefire concluded on Friday, Israel has reignited its large-scale air strikes and bombing campaign.
The Israeli military announced the expansion of its ground operation, covering “all areas” of the Gaza Strip, and issued fresh evacuation orders for approximately 20 locations within the Palestinian enclave. The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) shared a map on social media outlining the newly designated evacuation zones.
In the southern region of Gaza, a local hospital reports being overwhelmed with casualties, with images depicting injured individuals lying in hallways. The IDF claims to have targeted and killed a Hamas battalion commander, along with reporting the deaths of three of its soldiers.
As Israeli forces push further south, humanitarian groups warn that Gazans have limited places to seek refuge. Khan Younis, the largest city in southern Gaza, has borne the brunt of post-truce attacks, experiencing what residents describe as the heaviest air strikes since the conflict began.
Evacuation orders have been issued for several districts in Khan Younis, where thousands sought shelter after fleeing Israel’s military ground attacks in the north since October 7. Unicef describes the overwhelmed Al-Nasser hospital in Khan Younis as resembling a “war zone.”
In the West Bank, Israeli raids have resulted in two fatalities, and over 30 Palestinians have been arrested. While senior U.S. officials reiterate Israel’s right to self-defence, they emphasize the need to protect civilians.
The UN’s human rights chief expresses concern that Palestinians are being increasingly confined to a narrow territory.
The conflict traces back to the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7, claiming 1,200 lives and leading to around 240 individuals being taken hostage. Since then, Gaza’s health ministry has reported over 15,500 casualties in Israel’s retaliatory campaign. The situation remains volatile.