Israel Orders All Palestinians to Leave Gaza City

Buildings lie in ruin, after Israeli forces withdrew from Shejaiya neighborhood, following a ground operation, amid Israel-Hamas conflict, in eastern part of Gaza city, July 10, 2024. REUTERS/Dawoud Abu Alkas
Buildings lie in ruin, after Israeli forces withdrew from Shejaiya neighborhood, following a ground operation, amid Israel-Hamas conflict, in eastern part of Gaza city, July 10, 2024. REUTERS/Dawoud Abu Alkas
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Israel Orders All Palestinians to Leave Gaza City

Buildings lie in ruin, after Israeli forces withdrew from Shejaiya neighborhood, following a ground operation, amid Israel-Hamas conflict, in eastern part of Gaza city, July 10, 2024. REUTERS/Dawoud Abu Alkas
Buildings lie in ruin, after Israeli forces withdrew from Shejaiya neighborhood, following a ground operation, amid Israel-Hamas conflict, in eastern part of Gaza city, July 10, 2024. REUTERS/Dawoud Abu Alkas

The Israeli military urged all Palestinians to leave Gaza City and head south Wednesday, pressing ahead with a fresh offensive across the north, south and center of the embattled territory that has killed dozens of people over the past 48 hours.
In a visit Wednesday to central Gaza, Israel’s military chief, Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi, said forces were operating in different ways, in multiple parts of the territory “to carry out a very important mission: pressure. We will continue operating to bring home the hostages.”
Israel informed people in Gaza of the evacuation order by dropping leaflets urging “all those in Gaza City” to take two “safe routes” south to the area around the central town of Deir al-Balah. Gaza City, it said, will “remain a dangerous combat zone.”
Months ago, Israel ordered residents of northern Gaza, including Gaza City, to flee south, and much of the population left earlier in the war. Large parts of Gaza City and urban areas around it have been flattened or left a shattered landscape by previous Israeli assaults.
The United Nations says about 200,000 Palestinians have remained in the hard-hit north, and many say they have nowhere safe to go. Most of Gaza’s 2.3 million people are crammed into squalid tent camps in central and southern Gaza.
Israeli ground troops have pushed into parts of Gaza City in recent days, triggering the flight of thousands of Palestinians trying to escape shelling and airstrikes. This past week, the military ordered Palestinians to evacuate from eastern and central parts of the city. There was no immediate mass exodus out of the city following Wednesday's order. Many Palestinians have concluded that there is no refuge in war-stricken Gaza.
The evacuation order came after a series of deadly strikes over the past two days in other parts of the territory. Israeli bombardment early Wednesday hit four houses in Deir al-Balah and the nearby Nuseirat refugee camp, killing 20 Palestinians.
Among the dead were six children and three women, according to officials at al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital, where the casualties were taken. An Associated Press reporter counted the bodies. The house hit in Deir al-Balah was inside the “humanitarian safe zone” where Israel has told Palestinians to flee for refuge.
The overnight bombardment came hours after Israeli warplanes struck the entrance of a school sheltering displaced families outside the southern city of Khan Younis. The toll from the strike rose to 31 people killed, including eight children, and more than 50 wounded, officials at the nearby Nasser Hospital said Wednesday.

In nine months of bombardment and offensives in Gaza, Israel has killed more than 38,200 people and wounded more than 88,000, according to the territory’s Health Ministry. Nearly the entire population has been driven from their homes. Many have been displaced multiple times.



Israel Strikes Gaza, Yemen, Lebanon Foes after Attacks

Smoke rises from a building hit by an Israeli strike in Nuseirat in the central Gaza Strip on July 20, 2024, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas. (Photo by Eyad BABA / AFP)
Smoke rises from a building hit by an Israeli strike in Nuseirat in the central Gaza Strip on July 20, 2024, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas. (Photo by Eyad BABA / AFP)
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Israel Strikes Gaza, Yemen, Lebanon Foes after Attacks

Smoke rises from a building hit by an Israeli strike in Nuseirat in the central Gaza Strip on July 20, 2024, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas. (Photo by Eyad BABA / AFP)
Smoke rises from a building hit by an Israeli strike in Nuseirat in the central Gaza Strip on July 20, 2024, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas. (Photo by Eyad BABA / AFP)

The Middle East was reeling Sunday from deadly violence with Israel bombing Gaza, Lebanon and Yemen in quick succession in response to attacks from Iran-backed militant groups.
Despite Washington's top diplomat asserting a deal is near the "goal line" to end more than nine months of devastating war between Israel and Gaza rulers Hamas, the Israeli military said it intercepted a missile fired from Yemen, as it pressed on with its offensive in the besieged Palestinian territory, Agence France Presse reported.
Dozens have been killed since Saturday across the Gaza Strip, the civil defense agency said, including in strikes on homes in the central Nuseirat and Bureij areas and displaced people near southern Khan Yunis.
Residents said a major operation was underway in the district of Rafah in the south, reporting heavy artillery and clashes.
The deadly strikes in Gaza came hours after Hezbollah and its ally Hamas said they fired at Israeli positions from south Lebanon, while Yemen's Houthi group vowed to respond to Israeli warplanes hitting a key port.
The fire left raging by the strikes on Hodeida port "is seen across the Middle East and the significance is clear," Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said.
Detailing the first strikes claimed by Israel in Yemen, Gallant warned of further operations if the Houthis "dare to attack us" after a Houthi drone strike killed one in Tel Aviv on Friday.
In Hodeida three people were killed and 87 wounded, health officials said in a statement carried by Houthi media.
Netanyahu travels to Washington
The trio of militant groups has vowed to keep up attacks on Israel until a truce ends the violence in Gaza, which lies in ruins, with most residents forced to flee their homes.
The Gaza war was triggered by Hamas's October 7 attack on southern Israel, which resulted in the deaths of 1,195 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on Israeli figures.
The militants also seized 251 hostages, 116 of whom are still in Gaza, including 42 the Israeli military says are dead.
Israel's military retaliation to wipe out Hamas has killed at least 38,919 people, also mostly civilians, according to data from the health ministry in Hamas-ruled Gaza.
The war has also unleashed hunger and health crises in Gaza, with Israel and the United Nations trading blame for vital aid supplies failing to reach those in need.
After the detection of poliovirus in Gaza sewage, though no individual cases, the World Health Organization said there were "monumental" constraints to mounting a timely response.
WHO spokesman Christian Lindmeier said Friday the agency believes many more diseases are "spreading out of control" inside Gaza.
The premier is due to address US lawmakers Wednesday in Washington, where he will be under pressure to reach a ceasefire with Hamas.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Friday a truce was within reach.
"I believe we're... driving toward the goal line in getting an agreement that would produce a ceasefire, get the hostages home, and put us on a better track to trying to build lasting peace and stability," he said.