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Israel orders evacuation of Gaza City again as it presses on with new deadly offensive

THE Israeli military ordered the evacuation of the repeatedly displaced Palestinians from Gaza City and told them to head south again today as it pressed ahead with a fresh offensive just hours after killing dozens of people.

Thousands of leaflets were dropped onto the city urging people to leave through two “safe” roads “quickly and without inspection from Gaza City to shelters” in Deir el-Balah and az-Zawiya.

Gaza City, it said, will “remain a dangerous combat zone.”

Israeli authorities claimed in January that they had “dismantled Hamas’s military structure” in the northern city.

Israel ordered residents of northern Gaza to flee south months ago as it operated in the area, and much of the population fled earlier in the war.

Large parts of Gaza City and urban areas around it have been devastated by previous Israeli assaults.

The United Nations said that about 200,000 Palestinians have remained in the hard-hit north, and many say they have nowhere safe to go.

Most of Gaza’s 2.3 million people are crammed into squalid tent camps in central and southern Gaza.

Israeli ground troops have pushed into parts of Gaza City in recent days, triggering the flight of thousands of Palestinians trying to escape shelling and air strikes.

An air strike targeted UN refugee agency UNRWA’s headquarters in the city today while shelling hit the Yibna and Shaboura camps in central Rafah – the southmost region in the Strip.

Following the evacuation order, Palestinian National Initiative secretary-general Mustafa Barghouti posted on X: “The Israeli army [has] declared its intention to ethnically cleanse the whole population of Gaza city trying to force hundreds of thousands of Palestinians to evict their city and their homes.

“[Israeli PM Benjamin] Netanyahu’s fascist government never departed from its original goal of ethnic cleansing of the whole population of Gaza Strip.”

It came as the United States, Egyptian and Qatari mediators were meeting with Israeli officials in the Qatari capital, Doha, for talks on a ceasefire deal with Hamas.

On Tuesday, an Israeli attack on a school housing displaced civilians in Khan Younis killed at least 27 people, including six children.

Israel has hit four schools In as many days and at least three key hospitals in the north have been forced to shut down.

Gaza’s government media office said that aid has not entered the strip for 65 days.

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