Israel has ordered Palestinians to leave southern Gaza after rocket fire.

image caption, Palestinians are fleeing in the dark after Israel ordered the evacuation of large areas east of Khan Yunis.

  • the author, David Gerton and Rushdie Abolaouf
  • the role, BBC News

The Israeli army has ordered Palestinians to leave a large area of ​​land east of the southern Gaza city of Khan Yunis after rockets were fired at Israel.

People in the area first received audio messages telling them to leave, before the Israeli army posted a message in Arabic repeating the warning on social media.

Eyewitnesses say many people are already fleeing.

The biggest such attack in months comes after about 20 rockets were fired, one of which was intercepted and the others landed in open areas and no one was injured.

Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) said it launched the barrage in response to Israeli “crimes”.

The latest evacuation order covers the area around the European Hospital southeast of Khan Yunis.

According to local reports, the staff have started moving some important supplies to Nasir Hospital in Khan Younis and some staff and patients have also left.

Elsewhere, heavy fighting continued for a fifth day in Shijaiya, north of Gaza, and an Israeli soldier was killed in the southern Rafah area.

On Sunday, Israel's prime minister said its troops were engaged in a “difficult battle” across the Palestinian territories.

The Israeli military launched a campaign to destroy Hamas in response to a rare attack on southern Israel on October 7, which killed nearly 1,200 people and took 251 hostages.

More than 37,900 people have been killed in Gaza since then, including 23 in the past 24 hours, according to the territory's Hamas-run health ministry.

image caption, The Israeli military said two soldiers were killed in fighting in northern Gaza on Friday.

On Monday morning, sirens rang out in Israeli communities near the Gaza border fence, many of which have been evacuated since the October 7 attack.

The Eshkol Regional Council later reported that 18 rockets were fired toward areas under its control, according to the Jerusalem Post. It said most landed in open areas, but one fell “in the fenced area of ​​Kibbutz Holit.” Another rocket was intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system, it added.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said the latest rocket fire came from the southern Khan Yunis area and its artillery hit the source.

Palestinian news agency Wafa reported that a civilian was killed and several others wounded in artillery attacks on Monday in the town of Khuza, southeast of Khan Younis city.

It said Israeli warplanes also targeted a street in Shejaiya, east of Gaza City, and an area north of Nusirat refugee camp in central Gaza.

Hamas's military wing, meanwhile, said its fighters targeted two Israeli tanks with explosive devices in Shijaiya.

The IDF said in a statement that its troops “killed a number of terrorists in close encounters and recovered a large amount of weapons” during the raids in Shijaiya. It added that the airstrikes killed around 20 people and destroyed weapons production and storage facilities in the area.

Fighting has erupted there since Thursday, when Israeli troops withdrew to the area after the IDF said “intelligence indicates the presence of terrorists and terrorist infrastructure”.

Over the weekend, residents said the attack left bodies in the street, while the IDF said two Israeli soldiers were killed in fighting in northern Gaza.

The UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) said that 80,000 people in Shijaiya and surrounding areas had been told by the IDF to evacuate and head south, but were being pushed west as the valley Israelis could not pass through the checkpoints in Gaza. Area

“The Israeli army has completely destroyed the neighborhood,” a woman from the neighboring district of Tafah told BBC Arabic's Gaza Lifeline programme.

“Along with others, I ran away as shells rained down around us. We moved from one area to another until we managed to escape the neighborhood. But many residents were trapped and left. Couldn't get out.”

“We are facing hunger, fear, murder, displacement and total destruction.”

image caption, UN officials say the humanitarian situation for Palestinian citizens in Gaza is becoming increasingly desperate.

Palestinian fighters have regrouped in several northern areas that were the focus of Israel's ground operations in the first three months of the war.

Rafah has been the main focus since early May, and the IDF believes it has now reduced the capabilities of three of the four Hamas battalions in the city.

Some of the 10,000 people still in the city told Reuters that Israeli tanks pushed further into western and central areas on Monday, a day after they came within 1 km (0.6 miles) of the Mediterranean coast. was given

Meanwhile, the IDF announced that one of its soldiers was killed in fighting in southern Gaza on Monday.

He did not provide further details on the incident, but Hamas had previously said its fighters had blown up a bombed-out house after luring Israeli troops into Rafah.

In another development on Monday, the head of al-Shafa Hospital in Gaza City was released after seven months in Israeli custody. Dr. Muhammad Abu Salmiya alleged that he was subjected to torture in custody. Israel has denied ill-treatment of prisoners.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told a cabinet meeting that Israeli forces were operating “everywhere in the Gaza Strip” and were killing “dozens of terrorists” every day.

“This is an uphill battle being fought above ground, sometimes in hand-to-hand combat, and also below ground,” he warned.

“We are determined to fight until we achieve all of our goals: to destroy Hamas, to return all our hostages, to ensure that Gaza never belongs to Israel again,” he added. Do not endanger and return our residents safely to their homes.

Sam Rose, UNRWA's director of planning, told the BBC from Nusirat camp that the humanitarian situation for Gaza's 2.2 million people, three-quarters of whom are displaced, is becoming increasingly desperate.

“People need water, people need health care. It's getting hot here, it's 35 degrees. [Celsius]Sewage smell, lack of solid waste management facilities, the area is basically becoming a dumping site. [for rubbish]”They said.

Fuel is not coming in adequate quantity from the crossing points. Without it, incubators can't work, water wells can't work… It's a real struggle for everyone to do the simplest of things.”

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