On the ground, hundreds of Palestinians can be seen leaving their homes Tuesday after the army warned residents of five areas to flee and take refuge in central Gaza City, an AFP correspondent says.

Many head for already-cramped UN schools in the north, where children run barefoot around a dirty schoolyard alongside piles of rubbish.

“We came yesterday after the army warned us to leave,” says 46-year-old Ghassan Abed who fled from his home in the northern town of Beit Lahiya with his wife and six children.

“About 200 people just from our street have fled,” he says

UN statistics published Monday show 215,000 Palestinians have already fled their homes, with 170,461 staying in 82 of the agency’s schools.

A Palestinian man wheels an elderly woman holding a white flag forward as they flee their homes in the Shejaiya neighborhood of Gaza City, in the northern Gaza Strip, Sunday, July 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)

A Palestinian man wheels an elderly woman holding a white flag forward as they flee their homes in the Shejaiya neighborhood of Gaza City, in the northern Gaza Strip, Sunday, July 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)

— AFP

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