July 14, 2024

The Israeli army is calling on all residents of Gaza City to flee in what observers see as a sign of imminent new military operations.

People should leave the city in the north of the Gaza Strip for the towns of Deir Al-Balah and Al-Zawiya in the centre of the Palestinian territory, said the appeal posted in Arabic by a military spokesman.

He also described routes that those affected can use without encountering checkpoints. Gaza City is a dangerous combat zone, the spokesman warned.

Israeli media reported that the army had distributed leaflets in the city in the morning that urged people to leave.

In recent weeks, the military called on residents of several of the city’s neighbourhoods to get out. Since then, there has been heavy fighting in some of the neighbourhoods, including Shejaiya. The latest call to flee applies to the entire city.

Israeli troops conducted combat operations in Gaza City at the beginning of the war last October.

Since then, fighters of the Palestinian militant Hamas movement have been trying to regroup there and in other parts of the coastal strip. Gaza City is one of the worst affected by the devastation of recent months.

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