As Israel’s war with Hamas enters its second month, there are few safe places left in Gaza for Palestinian civilians

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Israeli forces have begun to push into Gaza City, while tanks remained stationed on the outskirts ahead of a possible storming of Gaza’s urban heart.

“Every day and every hour the troops kill militants, expose tunnels and destroy weapons and advance to enemy centers,” Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) commander Major General Yaron Finkelman told reporters near the border.

Israel previously said it had surrounded Gaza City, home to about a third of the Gaza Strip’s 2.3 million residents, and would soon attack to destroy Hamas fighters there.

There was no indication on the ground that Israeli forces had pushed further into the city en masse, but an IDF spokesman suggested that surrounding forces could stage incursions.

Hamas’ military wing said it inflicted heavy losses and damage on advancing Israeli forces.

It was not possible to verify the battlefield claims of either side.

Here are the latest developments:

A full month of carnage

The war began on October 7 when Hamas militants crossed the fence surrounding Gaza, killing 1,400 Israelis, mostly civilians, and kidnapping more than 200, according to Israeli figures. Since then, Israel has continuously bombed Hamas-held Gaza, killing more than 10,000 people, about 40 percent of them children, according to regional health officials.

Palestinians search for survivors after an Israeli airstrike in the Khan Younis refugee camp.(AP: Fatima Shbair)

“It has been a full month of carnage, of ceaseless suffering, bloodshed, destruction, outrage and despair,” UN Human Rights Commissioner Volker Turk said in a statement at the start of a trip to the region, where he will visit the Rafah. crossing from Egypt, the only route for help.

Israel gave residents from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to leave Gaza City. Residents say Israeli tanks have moved mainly at night, with Israeli forces relying largely on air and artillery strikes to clear a path for their advance on the ground.

“For your safety, take this next opportunity to move south, beyond Wadi Gaza,” the army announced, referring to the wetlands that bisect the narrow coastal area.

Gaza’s Interior Ministry says 900,000 Palestinians are still sheltering in northern Gaza, including Gaza City.

“The most dangerous journey of my life. We saw the tanks up close (distance). We saw decomposed body parts. We saw death,” wrote one resident.

While Israel’s military operation focuses on the northern half of Gaza, the south is also under attack. Palestinian health officials said at least 23 people were killed early Tuesday morning in two separate Israeli airstrikes in the southern Gaza cities of Khan Younis and Rafah.

“We are civilians,” said Ahmed Ayesh, who was rescued from the rubble of a house in Khan Younis where health officials said 11 people had been killed. “This is the courage of so-called Israel – they are showing their power and might against civilians, babies inside, children inside and the elderly.”

As he spoke, rescuers at the house tried with their hands to free a girl who was buried up to her waist in rubble.

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