Israel orders Palestinians to evacuate parts of Khan Younis

Israel’s military has ordered Palestinians to leave parts of Khan Younis, in a move that could signal Israeli troops are preparing for fresh raids on Gaza’s second-largest city.

Israel pulled back its forces from Khan Younis in April after an assault that devastated the city. On Monday, official evacuation orders were issued for more than a dozen neighborhoods in the east, an indication that Israel could be going after Hamas militants who have regrouped after earlier attacks.

“For your safety, you must evacuate immediately to the humanitarian zone,” Avichay Adraee, the Israel Defense Force’s Arabic-language spokesperson, posted on social media.

The evacuation order came after a barrage of at least 20 rockets was launched from the Khan Younis area toward Israeli communities bordering the Gaza Strip earlier on Monday, according to Israel’s military. No injuries were reported and the IDF said it struck back against the sources of the rocket fire.

Small bands of militants are still launching rockets into Israel and targeting troops nearly nine months into the conflict, even as Israel’s military says it has destroyed most of Hamas’s battalions.

Here’s what else to know

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday that Israeli forces were “advancing to the end of the stage of eliminating the Hamas terrorist army,” adding that they will “continue striking its remnants.”

Thousands gathered in Tel Aviv on Monday evening, calling for a hostage deal and an end to the war. “War isn’t a law of nature, it’s a choice. It is possible to make a different choice, and begin making peace,” said one of the main speakers, Yuval Noah Harari, a historian and best-selling author.

At least 37,900 people have been killed and 87,060 injured in Gaza since the war started, according to the Gaza Health Ministry. It does not distinguish between civilians and combatants but says the majority of the dead are women and children. Israel estimates that about 1,200 people were killed in Hamas’s Oct. 7 attack, including more than 300 soldiers, and it says 318 soldiers have been killed since the start of its military operations in Gaza.

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