Residents said the military dropped leaflets reading Khan Younis was “a dangerous combat zone.”
The people have been forced to move to the border city of Rafah or a coastal area in the southwest.
Halima Abdel-Rahman, a widow and mother of four, says she just ignores the leaflets. She fled her home in October to an area outside Khan Younis, where she stays with relatives. “The occupation tells you to go to this area, then they bomb it.”
“The reality is that no place is safe in Gaza. They kill people in the north. They kill people in the south.”
The Israeli military said on Sunday its ground offensive had expanded to every part of the besieged Palestinian territory.
Khan Younis in the south was previously designated as a safe area, thus making thousands of displaced Palestinians to flee to the city.
Heavy bombardment followed the leaflet drops.
The Gaza health ministry says hundreds of people have been killed or wounded since a weeklong ceasefire ended on December 1. “The majority of victims are still under the rubble.”
The human rights chief of the United Nations Volker Turk has urged an end to the war. He says the civilian suffering in Gaza is just “too much to bear.”
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