Fears over the security of Palestinian civilians are rising as Israel suggests its bombardment of Gaza will shift to southern areas, having destroyed swathes of the north.
Leaflets have been dropped by the Israeli army in some areas of the south, close to Khan Younis, warning residents to depart as Israel declared the “next stage” of their offensive has begun.
Hundreds of hundreds of Palestinians are reportedly already displaced in southern elements since Israel’s marketing campaign targeted largely within the north, which got here after comparable leafleting.
Israel-Gaza newest: Satellite photos present large crowds attempting to flee to southern Gaza
Sky News has obtained a picture of one of many flyers, which tells locals they “must evacuate” and “go to known shelters” – but it surely doesn’t specify any shelters or recommend a protected space.
Challenged by Sky News on the place the individuals of Khan Younis ought to go, Mark Regev, an adviser to Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, mentioned Gazans will “know exactly what to do”.
“I think the people of Gaza who will read those leaflets know exactly what to do,” he mentioned. “And the same cynicism was expressed when we leafleted the north.
“And but, the overwhelming majority of the inhabitants heeded our recommendation and did go away areas of fight and did transfer south, and subsequently have been saved from being caught within the crossfire between Israel and Hamas.
“And I believe you’ll see the same thing now.”
In different developments:
• UN help deliveries to Gaza have been suspended on Friday on account of shortages of gas and a communications shut down;
• The UN’s World Food Programme mentioned civilians confronted the “immediate possibility of starvation” because of the lack of provides;
• Gaza’s Hamas-run well being ministry says greater than 12,000 persons are confirmed lifeless, with 5,000 of them kids and lots of others trapped below rubble;
• Israel says its army has discovered the our bodies of two hostages in Gaza in as many days
Mr Regev added there are areas to the west of Khan Younis the place Israeli forces usually are not anticipating heavy preventing, however he admitted it’s “not a perfect solution”.
Israel would do its “utmost to protect the civilian population”, he mentioned, although Mr Netanyahu admitted on Thursday the nation’s makes an attempt to minimise civilians casualties have been “not successful”.
Movements in direction of the south have reportedly been disrupted by ongoing assaults, with bombing additionally reported in southern areas.
Satellite photos present a mass of individuals, seemingly transferring south, showing to be obstructed.
While southern elements of the Gaza Strip brace for a brand new wave of assaults within the coming days, Israel’s focus this week has largely been on al Shifa hospital, which is the territory’s largest.
Human Rights Watch warned hospitals have particular protections below the legal guidelines of warfare and solely lose that standing “if it can be shown that harmful acts have been carried out from the premises”.
Israel has lengthy maintained the hospital sits above an enormous underground bunker housing a Hamas command headquarters, an assertion backed by the US.
After two days of looking out the premises – which have been raided earlier this week – Israeli forces mentioned they discovered a automobile with weapons, and a tunnel shaft.
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Hospital workers have denied Hamas has a command centre below the hospital, and up to now no conclusive proof has been provided by Israel.
Gaza’s Hamas-run well being ministry claimed on Thursday 26 out of 35 hospitals within the territory are not operating, whereas the remaining 9 are solely partly functioning.
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Israel has repeatedly been warned by allies to make sure the security of civilians, whereas help businesses have criticised the nation’s humanitarian response.
Hamas claims greater than 12,000 individuals have been killed for the reason that assault on Gaza started, whereas Israel says 1,200 have been killed when the militants attacked the south of the nation on 7 October.
Israel additionally says Hamas took 242 captives again to Gaza as hostages – with its army saying two our bodies have been discovered previously two days.