Ibraheem Abu Mustafa/Reuters
Israel ordered residents to evacuate from areas in southern Gaza on Monday where thousands of Palestinians had already fled as the north of the enclave was razed by a brutal campaign of bombing and ground operations over recent weeks.
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Arabic-language spokesperson shared a map on social media in the morning showing that around a quarter of Khan Younis must be evacuated immediately. The instructions, coupled with other warnings from Israeli officials, indicate that a widespread invasion of the southern Gaza Strip could be about to begin.
The map pointed to the south and west, telling people to head in the directions of either the Mediterranean coast or Rafah close to the Egyptian border. The IDF’s Arabic-language spokesperson later posted to say that the central road out of Khan Younis to the north “constitutes a battlefield” and had been closed, while a “tactical suspension of military activities” would be instituted in Rafah to allow entry until 2 p.m.