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Israel’s Military Widens Evacuation Orders in Southern Gaza Amid Escalation

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Southern Gaza is in a state of confusion and fear as Israel’s military issues additional evacuation orders, prompting residents to seek shelter after the collapse of a weeklong cease-fire deal with Hamas. The evacuation orders suggest a potential ground invasion in the south, reminiscent of previous actions in northern Gaza.

The Israeli military, aiming to move civilians away from potential harm, issued evacuation instructions through Arabic-language accounts on Facebook and X, listing growing areas under evacuation orders. Late on Sunday night, Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari stated that Israel is expanding its ground operation against main Hamas fronts in the Gaza Strip, raising concerns about a potential Israeli ground invasion in the south.

The evacuation announcements have left many Gazans confused, with sudden changes and uncertainty about whether to flee. The list of evacuation areas increased from 19 to 34, all southeast of Khan Younis. Families, already displaced once before, found themselves scrambling to build makeshift shelters.

With an ongoing electricity blackout and limited communications, it remains unclear how many Gazans have seen the online evacuation map. UN agencies expressed uncertainty about its accessibility.

Reports from the Gazan health ministry indicated 316 people killed in recent Israeli strikes, bringing the total death toll to over 15,500 since the conflict began on Oct. 7.

Ron Dermer, Israel’s minister of strategic affairs, emphasized the military’s efforts to protect civilians while pursuing the goal of eliminating Hamas. He mentioned the deliberate approach to avoid harming civilians but could not provide a timeline for achieving the goal.

The evacuation map directs people to already-overcrowded shelters or a “humanitarian zone” in Al-Mawasi. However, uncertainty surrounds the adequacy of supplies and shelter in the zone, with reports of a fast-filling area lacking proper amenities.

The notion of “safe zones” in Gaza, exemplified by Al-Mawasi, is opposed by the United Nations and humanitarian groups, stating that unilaterally declared or armed-force-enforced “safe zones” are not truly safe.As tensions escalate, the situation in southern Gaza remains precarious, with civilians caught in the crossfire of military operations.



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