Hundreds of thousands hit by Israel’s Khan Younis evacuation orders in Gaza: UN

The UN agency for Palestinian refugees on Tuesday reported about 250,000 Gazans were affected by the recent evacuation orders issued by Israel, and that they are heading towards the West.

“UNRWA estimates that around 250,000 people have been impacted by these orders. Of course, as usual, we expect these numbers to grow,” said a senior communications officer of the agency participating virtually in the UN briefing from Central Gaza.

Describing evacuation orders as not only “another devastating blow to the humanitarian response” but also devastating for the people and the families on the ground, Louise Wateridge stressed that making decisions such as where to go is “now impossible.”

“Our understanding so far is people are going towards the west, so that is towards the coast, but we will have more information on this throughout the day and as this unfolds,” she responded to a question on the possible route of people fleeing the area.

The Israeli army on Monday ordered residents of eastern Khan Younis to immediately leave, claiming the area has become a “dangerous combat zone.”

The army asked the people to head to areas known as humanitarian zones in the western part of the city, known as the Al-Mawasi area.

Israel, flouting a UN Security Council resolution demanding an immediate cease-fire, has faced international condemnation amid its continued brutal offensive on Gaza since an Oct. 7, 2023 attack by the Palestinian group Hamas.

At least 37,900 Palestinians have since been killed, mostly women and children, and around 87,000 others injured, according to local health authorities.

Over eight months into the Israeli war, vast tracts of Gaza lie in ruins amid a crippling blockade of food, clean water, and medicine.

Human rights organizations have warned that thousands of people in the besieged enclave are facing the risk of famine amid ongoing Israeli devastating onslaught.

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