More Than Half A Million Palestinians Flee As Israel Escalates Gaza Attacks

ISRAELI forces have intensified attacks across Gaza, bombarding a refugee camp in the centre of the Strip as tanks pushed deeper into eastern parts of Rafah city in the south.

In the Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza, Israeli warplanes struck a home on Tuesday, killing at least 14 Palestinians, including children, the official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.

The Israeli military ordered more residents to evacuate in parts of the north, where battles between Israeli soldiers and Hamas fighters have resumed in recent days after Israel sent troops back into the area, months after claiming it had defeated Hamas there.

Israeli tanks, bulldozers and armoured vehicles surrounded evacuation zones and shelters in the Jabalia refugee camp, the north’s largest refugee camp, now largely destroyed.

Fierce gun battles were continuing late on Tuesday in the camp.

In Rafah, which borders Egypt, Palestinian residents on Tuesday said they could see smoke billowing above eastern districts of the city and heard explosions after Israel bombarded a cluster of houses.

Hamas’ armed wing, the Qassam Brigades, said it had destroyed an Israeli troop carrier with an Al-Yassin 105 missile in the eastern as-Salam district, killing some crew members and wounding others.

There was no immediate comment from the Israeli military.

The UN says more than half a million Palestinians have been displaced in recent days by escalating Israeli military operations in both southern and northern Gaza.

Evacuation orders in the north have displaced at least 100,000 people so far, UN deputy spokesperson Farhan Haq told reporters on Monday.

In Gaza’s southern city of Rafah, where a widely criticised Israeli ground operation is under way, an estimated 450,000 Palestinians have been driven out of the city over the past week, according to the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA).

More than 1.5 million displaced Palestinians had sought shelter in the southern-most city of Rafah, after they were forced to flee their homes in other parts of Gaza that had come under intense Israeli bombardment since October.

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