Israeli airstrikes targeted residential blocks in southern Gaza, resulting in the reported death of at least 32 Palestinians on Saturday, as confirmed by medical sources. Israel had previously issued warnings to civilians to relocate as it shifted its focus to attacking Hamas in the southern part of the enclave, following its operations in the northern areas.
This move has the potential to displace hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who had already fled south during the Israeli assault on Gaza City. Khan Younis, a city with a population exceeding 400,000, is particularly vulnerable, exacerbating an already dire humanitarian crisis in the region.
Mark Regev, an aide to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, emphasized the call for relocation in an interview with MSNBC on Friday, acknowledging the challenges faced by the affected population. The intention, he stated, is to prevent civilians from becoming casualties in the ongoing conflict.
Israel has reiterated its commitment to neutralize the Hamas group, which controls the Gaza Strip. This resolve follows a reported incursion by Hamas into Israel on October 7, resulting in the death of 1,200 people and the capture of 240 hostages, according to Israeli accounts.