Israel resumes bombardment of Gaza in Hamas onslaught

Following Israeli airstrikes that left hundreds of Palestinians dead or injured, the Israeli military announced its forces were engaging Hamas fighters throughout the Gaza Strip, announcing the start of its intended ground attack in the refugee-heavy southern section of the area.

After a seven-day ceasefire between Israeli troops and Hamas militants on Friday, which let the group to swap 240 Palestinian inmates for 105 captives, the majority of them were Israelis, hostages held by Hamas, hostilities broke out again.

The latest violence took place despite calls from the United States — Israel’s closest ally — for Israel to limit harm to Palestinian civilians in the new phase of its offensive, focused on the south.

Gaza residents said on Sunday they feared an Israeli ground offensive on the southern areas was imminent. Tanks had cut off the road between Khan Younis and Deir Al-Balah in central Gaza, effectively dividing the Gaza Strip into three.

On Monday morning, Israel’s military posted to X a statement with new orders to Gazans to evacuate about 20 areas or blocks in the Gaza Strip, with three arrows on the map all pointing south indicating where people should go.

Israel says it is defining “safe areas” for Gaza civilians to minimise harm to them but U.N. officials and people in Gaza say it is difficult to heed these orders in real-time given patchy internet access and unreliable electricity.

Lebanon-based Hamas official Osama Hamdan said on Sunday: “There are no safe areas.”

Bombardments from war planes and artillery were also concentrated on Khan Younis and Rafah, another city in Gaza’s south, residents said, and hospitals were struggling to cope with the flow of wounded.

Israel government spokesperson Eylon Levy said the military had struck more than 400 targets over the weekend “including extensive aerial attacks in the Khan Younis area” and had also killed Hamas militants and destroyed their infrastructure in Beit Lahiya in the north.

There was no immediate comment on the reports of specific attacks.

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Sydney Okafor

I am so passionate about this my profession as a broadcast journalist and voiceover artists and presently a reporter at TV360 Nigeria

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