Israel orders evacuations in southern Gaza, adding to concerns war could spread

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Israel ordered more evacuations amid it’s war with Hamas on Thursday, raising fears that the war could become more widespread.

Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) issued evacuation orders overnight for towns located in southern Gaza — where thousands of civilians have already fled to escape the air strikes. More than 1.5 million residents in Gaza have been internally displaced due to the war, which was prompted by the Palestinian militant group’s Oct. 7 attack on Israel that left more than 1,200 people dead. 

The Associated Press reported that leaflets were dropped overnight in areas east of the southern town of Khan Youni, warning that anyone who remains in the path of military operations is is putting their own life “in danger.”

Israel dropped similar leaflets in northern Gaza in the weeks ahead of its ground incursion into the territory.

Further evacuation orders can also escalate the humanitarian crisis unfolding in the area, as Israel has only allowed a small amount of fuel to enter on Wednesday — the first to enter Gaza since the war started. The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned of the rapid spread of infectious diseases due to overcrowding in Gaza and the dwindling supply of basic necessities. 

This comes just a day after the IDF said it carried out a targeted and precise operation inside the al-Shifa hospital in Gaza after days of fighting around it. 

Releasing videos of what appears to be weapons and military capabilities inside the hospital, Israel has claimed that it was home to the site of Hamas’s operations.

More than 11,200 Palestinians, including thousands of children and women, have died since the fighting broke out, according to the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry.

The Associated Press contributed. 

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