Arab media outlets report fierce clashes in the outskirts of Khan Younis, a city located in the north-east. According to reports, the fighting involves the use of heavy weaponry and is being waged between armed factions whose identities have not been confirmed. No additional details about the causes of the clashes or the casualties that resulted from them have been provided. This type of event is considered volatile and could have implications for security and stability in the area. However, the information cannot be independently verified and should be treated with caution until confirmation is received from reliable sources.
Overview of the Conflict
The Israeli air and artillery bombardment on Khan Younis has been relentless over the past two days, particularly last night. The force of the bombing caused houses to tremble, shattering doors and windows. Dozens were killed and injured in a series of dawn airstrikes across Gaza, including several in the southern city of Rafah. The United Nations estimates that roughly 80% of the 1.8 million people in Gaza, are internationally displaced.
Impact and Casualties
The Palestinian health ministry in Hamas-run Gaza estimated 15,500 people have been killed in the Israeli onslaught following the attack by Hamas militants into Israeli territory on 7 October. At least 1,200 people were killed and over 200 more taken hostage in this attack. The situation is escalating dramatically, moving swiftly towards an invasion of Khan Younis.
Evacuation and Displacement
Israel has renewed calls for mass evacuations from Khan Younis, where tens of thousands of displaced Palestinians have sought refuge. This increased assault poses a deadly choice for hundreds of thousands of Palestinians - to stay in the path of Israeli forces or flee, with no guarantee of safety. The war has already killed thousands of Palestinians and displaced over three-fourths of the territory's population of 2.3 million people.
Fierce fighting erupted with dozens of Israeli tanks entering southern Gaza for a final showdown with Hamas. Armoured columns came under fire as they pushed a mile into Khan Younis, where terror commanders including “Hamas Bin Laden” Yahya Sinwar were believed to be hiding. Israel’s resumption of its bombardment of Gaza is unconscionable. Israel has intensified its assault on Gaza, claiming its one goal is to eliminate Hamas following the militant group’s deadly attack on 7 October.
The US has noted some improvements in the way Israel has conducted military operations in southern Gaza, but it is too early to make a definitive assessment as to whether it is heeding calls to protect civilians. Intense Israeli air strikes hit the south of the Gaza Strip, killing and wounding dozens of Palestinians, including in areas where Israel had told people to seek shelter.