Israeli Airstrikes Pound Southern Gaza after Evacuation Notice

Israeli Airstrikes Pound Southern Gaza after Evacuation Notice

A man is transported on a hospital bed as displaced Palestinians leave an area in east Khan Younis. (Photo: AFP)

Israel launched airstrikes on southern Gaza after ordering evacuations in areas including significant portions of Khan Younis.

The strikes on Tuesday led to the mass displacement of Palestinians from densely populated neighborhoods, with witnesses reporting multiple hits in and around Khan Younis.

The Palestinian Red Crescent Society confirmed eight deaths and over 30 injuries due to the bombings.

These attacks were a response to an unusual rocket assault on Israel on Monday, claimed by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) group. The PIJ, fighting alongside Hamas since the conflict began on October 7, stated that the rocket attack was retaliation for Israeli "crimes against our Palestinian people."

The Israeli military reported around 20 rockets fired from Khan Younis, most of which were intercepted with no casualties. In response, Israeli artillery targeted the rocket launch sites.

The evacuation order for al-Qarara, Bani Suheila, and other parts of Khan Younis caused widespread fear among residents.

There are concerns that the evacuation order could signal an imminent Israeli ground invasion of Khan Younis, from which Israeli troops had previously withdrawn after a ground offensive earlier this year that heavily damaged the city and targeted Hamas battalions.

Most of Gaza's 2.3 million residents have already been displaced, many multiple times. The delivery of humanitarian aid has been severely impacted by Israeli restrictions, ongoing fighting, and the collapse of public order, leading to widespread hunger and fears of famine.

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