Israeli military tells 100,000 people to leave parts of Rafah

The Israeli military says it is “encouraging” people in the southern Gaza city of Rafah to move towards an expanded humanitarian zone, the BBC reports.

It comes ahead of an expected offensive on the city, where more than 1.4 million people are sheltering.

The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) has been dropping flyers in the eastern area of Rafah calling on civilians to evacuate ahead of a planned operation in the city.

IDF says it is a “limited scope” operation and not a wide-scale evacuation of eastern Rafah which will affect 100,000 people.

It adds that evacuees will be directed to tent cities in nearby Khan Younis and al-Mawasi, where aid would be available.

Israeli strikes in Rafah reportedly killed at least 12 people overnight, while three Israeli soldiers were killed in a Hamas rocket attack near the Kerem Shalom crossing.

The war began when Hamas fighters stormed into southern Israel on 7 October, killing about 1,200 people and seizing 252 hostages, according to Israeli tallies.

More than 34,600 people have been killed in Gaza since then, the Hamas-run health ministry says.

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