Israel Issues Warning in Southern Gaza as Humanitarian Crisis Deepens

 Israel Issues Warning in Southern Gaza as Humanitarian Crisis Deepens

GAZA/JERUSALEM-Amidst the ongoing conflict, Israel has issued a renewed warning to residents of Khan Younis in southern Gaza, urging them to move away from potential conflict zones and closer to humanitarian aid. The warning suggests a potential Israeli military operation against Hamas in the southern region following actions in the north.

Mark Regev, an aide to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, emphasized the need for civilian safety and the avoidance of casualties amid the ongoing conflict. This relocation plea could affect hundreds of thousands who had previously fled from Gaza City, exacerbating the already dire humanitarian situation.

Israel's commitment to eradicating Hamas stems from the group's October 7 incursion into Israel, resulting in significant casualties and hostage-taking. The aftermath has seen widespread destruction in Gaza City, displacement orders for the northern half, and homelessness for a majority of the enclave's population.

Gaza health authorities reported a death toll surpassing 12,000, with concerns about the deteriorating humanitarian conditions. Israel dropped leaflets over Khan Younis, signaling imminent military operations and urging evacuations to shelters.

Despite international calls for a ceasefire, the conflict's intensity persists. Hamas, anticipating a prolonged defense, warned of continuous losses for Israeli forces remaining in Gaza. Violence flared in the West Bank, with casualties reported in an Israeli strike in Nablus.

Responding to warnings of a humanitarian crisis, Israel agreed to allow fuel trucks into Gaza, pledging no limitations on UN-requested aid. This decision follows concerns from UN agencies, including a stark warning from the World Food Programme about the immediate possibility of starvation.

In a significant shift, Israel hinted at increasing aid capacity, responding to mounting pressure. The White House, on X (formerly Twitter), emphasized the need for regular and larger fuel deliveries to Gaza.

Amid the conflict, Al Shifa, Gaza's main hospital, remains a focal point. Israel claimed to find weapons and a Hamas tunnel shaft there, alleging military use. Hospital staff denied these allegations, emphasizing the false nature of Israel's findings.

Tragically, a premature baby died at Al Shifa during Israeli forces' presence, adding to previous casualties while the hospital was surrounded. Hamas reported the death of an 85-year-old captive from Israel during an air strike.

In Israel, a funeral was held for Noa Marciano, a 19-year-old conscript whose body was recovered from Gaza City. She was abducted during the October 7 Hamas attack, highlighting the personal toll of the conflict.

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