Israel Launches Heavy Air Strikes on Khan Younis in Southern Gaza
In what residents are describing as the most intense bombing of the war, Israel has carried out a series of air strikes on the city of Khan Younis in southern Gaza. The Israeli military has instructed people in eastern areas of the city to evacuate further south, further escalating tensions in the region.
According to Gaza’s Hamas-run health ministry, at least 193 people have been killed in the latest wave of Israeli attacks. The offensive was resumed by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) on Friday, following the 7 October attacks in Israel that resulted in the deaths of around 1,200 people.
Throughout the conflict, rockets have been regularly fired at Israel from Gaza, including a recent barrage targeting Tel Aviv and central Israel on Saturday evening. In response, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has pledged to continue the military operation until all goals, including the elimination of Hamas and the release of hostages, are achieved.
The situation has led to hundreds of thousands of Palestinians seeking shelter in Khan Younis and the border city of Rafah after being urged to flee from the north of the territory. The IDF’s Arabic-language spokesman has even posted evacuation maps on social media, indicating which areas civilians should leave, sparking speculations of a potential ground offensive.
The devastating attacks have overwhelmed hospitals in Khan Younis, with limited resources causing some patients to be treated on the floor. Additionally, talks to secure a temporary ceasefire and the release of hostages kidnapped on 7 October have collapsed, with Israel pulling its negotiators from discussions in Qatar due to an impasse.
Amidst the escalating violence, US Vice President Kamala Harris met with the president of Egypt and asserted that the United States will not permit the forced relocation of Palestinians, the besiegement of Gaza, or the redrawing of its borders. Meanwhile, Mr. Netanyahu hailed the release of 110 Israeli hostages and the freeing of 240 Palestinian prisoners in a recent exchange.
As the conflict continues to escalate, the international community remains deeply concerned about the rising death toll and the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Gaza. The urgency to find a peaceful resolution and restore stability to the region has become increasingly apparent.
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