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Israeli forces bombard Gaza City as tanks re-enter central areas

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Palestinian families flee from several areas of Gaza city as Israeli forces bombard the city

July 8—Hundreds of Palestinians have fled Gaza City as Israel forces bombard several areas of the city.

The fleeing Palestinians say they have experienced one of the most intense Israeli bombardments since Israel launched its war on Hamas after the group’s unprecedented 7 October attack.

Columns of Israeli tanks are reported to be closing in on the centre of the city from several different directions.

The Gaza Civil Emergency Service says it believes a number of people have been killed but has so far been unable to reach them because of fighting in several districts in the east and west of Gaza City.

The Al-Ahli Baptist hospital is reported to have been evacuated, with its patients being taken to one of the only medical facilities still functioning in the area – the already overcrowded Indonesian hospital.

Ahead of the assault, the Israeli army issued evacuation orders for several neighbourhoods in the centre of the city, including Tuffah, Daraj and the Old City.

But one of the areas that has come under the most intense assault, Tel al-Hawa, was not included in the evacuation order that was posted online with a map by the Israel Defense Forces’ (IDF) Arabic spokesperson on Sunday.

On Monday afternoon, the IDF issued a new order that covered Tel al-Hawa as well as the Sabra and al-Rimal areas, to the north and west.

One resident of Gaza City, Abdel Ghani asked: “The enemy is behind us and the sea is in front of us, where shall we go?”

Others have also told the BBC that they do not know where to go. They say that only one route remains – to go north towards the port area of Gaza City.

Some fled districts after receiving an evacuation order, only to find that the area they moved to was coming under Israeli bombardment.

In a statement, the Israel Defence Forces IDF confirmed that it launched what it called a new operation in Tel al-Halwa overnight, following what it said was intelligence of Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad infrastructure and fighters in the area.

The military also said that it was operating at the headquarters of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, Unrwa, in the area.

The IDF said that at the start of the operation, it gave warnings to civilians – and it said that it would open up a humanitarian corridor for people to leave the area.

The latest Israeli offensive in Gaza comes as hopes have been rising that a ceasefire deal might finally be agreed.

Israeli forces bombard Gaza City as tanks re-enter central areas

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