Israel expands evacuation orders and begins ground offensive in southern Gaza

JAN YUNIS — Israeli forces said Sunday they have expanded their ground offensive against the terrorist group Hamas to “all parts” of the Strip Loop.

Israel It resumed its offensive on Friday after a week-long truce ended. After focusing its ground operations on northern Gaza in recent weeks, Israel began carrying out airstrikes against the south as well. The vast majority of the population has fled south in search of safety.

But on Sunday afternoon, Israeli military spokesman Admiral Daniel Hagari said the ground army is also advancing in the south.

“The Israeli army is continuing and expanding the ground operation against the Hamas presence in all parts of the Gaza Strip,” he said.

The Israeli army on Sunday ordered the evacuation of more areas in and around the Gaza Strip’s second-largest city, Khan Younis, and continued its intense shelling as its offensive moved into the southern half of the territory, where He said many Hamas leaders were hiding.

Hamas leaders fall

“We have intervened with force and thoroughness in the north of the Gaza Strip and now we are doing the same in the south of the Gaza Strip while we continue to deepen our successes in the north,” said the chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces Israelis, Herzl Halevi.

“Yesterday, today, we killed battalion commanders, members (of Hamas) and yesterday morning we began to do the same in the southern Gaza Strip. It will not be less powerful, it will not have worse results and the Hamas commanders They will know the Israel Defense Forces everywhere, very, very strongly,” he said during an event with soldiers from the Gaza Division.

The main Israeli military spokesman, Daniel Hagari, also confirmed that the land offensive is being expanded “to all areas of the Gaza Strip.” “Where Hamas is, the Israel Defense Forces will come,” he warned.

No signs of a new truce

With the resumption of fighting, hopes of negotiating another temporary truce diminished. A week-long ceasefire that ended Friday had facilitated the release of dozens of Israeli and foreign hostages in Gaza and Palestinians imprisoned by Israel.

“We will continue to wage war until we achieve all of its objectives, and it is impossible to achieve those objectives without the ground operation,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a televised address Saturday night.

Hamas official Osama Hamdan said any resumption of negotiations on future exchanges will be conditional on a permanent ceasefire.

US says to “work hard” to resume truce

In Washington, White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told NBC’s “Meet the Press” that the United States is “working really hard” to achieve a resumption of negotiations.

The Israeli military on Sunday expanded its evacuation orders in and around Khan Younis and asked residents of at least five more areas and neighborhoods to leave for their own safety.

Residents said the Israeli military dropped leaflets ordering residents to move south to Rafah or to a coastal area in the southwest. “The city of Khan Yunis is a dangerous combat zone,” the papers stated.

The Israeli military said Sunday that its fighter jets and helicopters “hit terrorist targets in the Gaza Strip, including terrorist tunnels, command centers and weapons warehouses” overnight, and that a drone had killed five Hamas fighters.

FOUNTAIN: With information from AP and Europa Press