At least 26 Palestinians, mostly children, were killed in an Israeli bombardment of the town of Khan Younis in southern Gaza on Saturday. According to Palestine’s state news agency Wafa, Israeli aircraft carried out several strikes on Khan Younis’ apartments. Apart from those who died, many other people were also injured. News agency Xinhua said that the Israeli Army has not commented on this development.
The latest killings come as Israel issued a new warning to residents of Khan Yunis to relocate. Mark Regev, an adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, told US media on Friday night: "I know it’s not easy for them. But we do not want to see civilians caught in the crossfire."
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) also announced in a statement that it would begin operations in southern Gaza after receiving intelligence reports that several top Hamas leaders were hiding in the area.
With the division of the Gaza Strip into North and South Gaza and the IDF taking control of the former, there were intelligence reports that several top Hamas leaders have moved to the south and hence the move has been announced.
The IDF has acknowledged that approximately eight million people are fleeing from northern Gaza to southern Gaza. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) has already said that its centers in South Gaza were overwhelmed with people and there were many difficulties following this huge forced migration.
The IDF said in a statement late Friday that the force was acting in an organized manner and that the Hamas terrorist organization would soon be eliminated.