Israeli tanks have reportedly entered the southern Gaza Strip. Photo/Illustration
GAZA JALUR – The Israeli army on Monday local time sent dozens of tanks to the southern Gaza Strip as part of expanding action against Hamas. This comes amid global concern over rising civilian deaths, and as communications are cut in the besieged region.
Weeks after Israel deployed ground troops in the northern part of the Gaza Strip, the Israeli army has distributed leaflets in the southern part, calling on Palestinians to flee to other areas.
Witnesses told AFP tanks, armored personnel carriers and bulldozers were seen on Monday near the town of Khan Yunis in southern Gaza, which is filled with Palestinian refugees.
At the entrance to Nasser’s hospital in the bustling city, ambulances and private cars dropped off survivors who were dazed, bloodied and covered in dust.
A Palestinian, Amin Abu Hawli (59) said Israeli vehicles were two kilometers inside Gaza in the village of Al-Qarara, while Moaz Mohammed (34) said Israeli tanks were moving on the main north-south highway in the strip.
“The (Israeli) military is trying to cut off the road between Deir al-Balah in central Gaza and Khan Yunis, firing shells and tanks at cars and people trying to pass through the area,” Mohammed said as quoted by Al Arabiya, Tuesday (5/ 12/2023).
The Israeli army said it was taking aggressive action against Hamas and other terrorist organizations in Khan Yunis, warning that the main roads north and east of the town were a battlefield.
Walaa Abu Libda found shelter at Deir al-Balah’s Al-Aqsa hospital but said her four-year-old daughter was still trapped under the rubble.
“I don’t know whether he is alive or dead,” said Libda, one of some 1.8 million people displaced in Gaza – about three-quarters of the population, according to UN figures.