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Israel expands operations in Gaza, orders new evacuations in Rafah

Photo : AP

Israel has ordered new evacuations in the southern city of Rafah in Gaza as part of its ongoing military operations. This move comes as Israel prepares to expand its operation into northern Gaza, where Hamas has regrouped. The order for evacuations follows heavy international criticism, including from the United States, which accused Israel of potentially violating international humanitarian law in its conduct of the conflict.

As part of the evacuation, Israel has cleared the eastern third of Rafah, pushing its operation to the edges of the heavily populated central area. However, a full-scale invasion of the city has not yet occurred.

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The evacuations have forced tens of thousands of people to move, adding to the already dire humanitarian crisis in Gaza. Many of those displaced had sought refuge in Rafah after fleeing previous Israeli offensives elsewhere in the territory. The evacuations are now compelling them to return north, where areas have been devastated by previous attacks.

The situation has strained the capacity of aid agencies, with limited resources available to assist those on the move. Displaced individuals are setting up makeshift camps in areas like Khan Younis and Deir al-Balah, further burdening already stretched infrastructure.

Meanwhile, heavy fighting continues in both southern and northern Gaza. In the northern areas, Israel has urged residents of cities like Jabaliya and Beit Lahiya to evacuate to shelters in Gaza City, warning of impending strikes.

In central Gaza, overnight strikes resulted in the deaths of at least 19 people, including women and children. Israel's bombardment and ground offensives have led to a significant loss of life in Gaza, with the Gaza Health Ministry reporting casualties exceeding 34,800, predominantly among women and children.

Despite mounting international pressure and calls for de-escalation, the conflict shows no signs of abating, with both sides continuing to exchange fire and casualties mounting on a daily basis.

May 11, 2024 5:43 p.m. 3870

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