02 July 2024

Strike kills nine in Khan Younis hours after Israel ordered mass evacuation

02 July 2024

Palestinian health officials say an Israeli strike has killed at least nine people in the southern Gaza city of Khan Younis.

The overnight strike came after Israel ordered the evacuation of parts of the city on Monday ahead of a likely ground operation.

Records at Nasser Hospital, where the dead and wounded were taken, show that three children and two women were among those killed.

Associated Press reporters at the hospital counted the bodies.

The strike hit a home near the European Hospital, which is inside the zone that Israel said should be evacuated.

After the initial evacuation orders, the military said the facility itself was not included, but its director says most patients and medics have already been relocated.

The military said it launched retaliatory strikes after Palestinian militants fired a barrage of some 20 projectiles into Israel from Khan Younis on Monday.

There were no reports of casualties or damage from the rocket attack.

The main United Nations agency providing aid in Gaza says the latest evacuation orders apply to some 250,000 people, many of whom have already been displaced.

That is more than 10% of Gaza’s population of 2.3 million.

About 250,000 people live in the latest mass-evacuation zone ordered by Israel, UNRWA official says.

Meanwhile, the mother of a well-known Israeli hostage who was freed from captivity in Gaza in a recent rescue operation has died, the Ichilov Hospital said in a brief statement on Tuesday.

Liora Argamani, 61, who had Stage 4 brain cancer, had pleaded for the release of her daughter, Noa, saying she wanted to see her only child before she died.

Noa Argamani, who became a well-known hostage after a video from the October 7 Hamas attack showed her being forced onto a motorbike and shouting at her captors not to kill her, was freed along with three other hostages in early June in an Israeli military operation in central Gaza.

Palestinian health officials said at least 274 Palestinians were killed.

The two were reunited but Yaakov Argamani, Noa’s father, said Liora was in a “very difficult situation” and barely registered seeing her daughter.

Hamas took around 250 hostages in its surprise attack into Israel and is still holding around 120 after most of the rest were released during a ceasefire in November.

Around a third of those still held are believed to be dead.

Some 1,200 people were killed in the attack.

Palestinians displaced by the Israeli air and ground offensive on the Gaza Strip flee from parts of Khan Younis following an evacuation order by the Israeli army to leave the eastern part of Gaza Strip’s second largest city on Monday (Saher Alghorra/AP) (AP)

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