The Israeli military has expanded its offensive in southern and central Gaza, witnessing some of the most intense fighting in the ongoing conflict. The war has escalated to the point where homes providing refuge for displaced Palestinians are being targeted, refugee camps are being struck, and the thousands of people who have been on the move for weeks now find themselves in no safe zone. Reporters from Rafah in southern Gaza highlighted that Israeli tanks, amid heavy aerial bombardment, have advanced towards the centre of Khan Younis city from the eastern side, prompting hundreds to evacuate the area.
Although initial indications suggested that the eastern areas of Khan Younis were the primary targets, the entire city is now under substantial bombardment, contradicting earlier leaflets dropped by Israeli forces instructing residents to evacuate. According to the reporters on the ground, reporting from occupied East Jerusalem, Israel’s military is preparing for prolonged and intense clashes in Khan Younis, considering it a crucial Hamas stronghold possibly housing many leaders. They emphasised the need for caution in the military’s approach due to the belief that numerous captives might be present, outlining a plan to extend the operation further south over the next four to five weeks, possibly until mid-January.
The escalation has resulted in significant casualties, with at least six people killed and 14 wounded in an Israeli airstrike on the Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza. Journalist teams have reported people trapped under the rubble, underscoring the dire situation. As the injured are transported to the few operational hospitals, relief organizations are warning of dangerously low supplies. Doctors Without Borders (MSF) raised the alarm about Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir el-Balah running out of essential resources to treat the growing number of patients, emphasizing the urgent need for support.