Israel orders more Rafah residents to evacuate city

Residents tell us there has been intense Israeli bombardment of eastern Rafah while Israeli tanks have shelled the centre, particularly around the border crossing with Egypt, and gunships have opened fire off the coast.

A journalist working with the BBC told us parts of Rafah that were bustling with life a week ago are now like a ghost town. He said that he received a recorded message from the Israeli army telling him to leave. Some leaflets have also been dropped.

The Israeli military appears to be expanding its operations in Rafah – which it sees as a Hamas stronghold.

Already Israeli tanks have captured the main Salah el-Din Road and encircled the “red zone” in the east, which it previously told residents to move from.

The army has said that its operations are “limited”; falling short of the full invasion that the US and other world powers have warned against.

However, they’ve already caused a new crisis in humanitarian operations – with severe shortages of food, clean water and fuel.

The latest Israeli military orders also tell Palestinians to move away from parts of the northern Gaza Strip which Israeli forces had left months ago.

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