ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 149

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As IDF troops head to south Gaza, displaced Palestinians wonder where to flee next

Displaced Palestinians who fled Khan Younis, sit outside makeshift shelters in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on December 4, 2023. (Mahmud HAMS / AFP)
Displaced Palestinians who fled Khan Younis, sit outside makeshift shelters in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on December 4, 2023. (Mahmud HAMS / AFP)

As tanks, armored personnel carriers, and bulldozers are spotted near the southern Gazan city of Khan Yunis, Palestinians, many of whom fled the north when fighting began, say they don’t know where to go next.

Walaa Abu Libda found shelter at Deir al-Balah’s Al-Aqsa hospital, but says her 4-year-old daughter remains trapped under rubble.

“I don’t know if she is dead or alive,” says Libda, one of an estimated 1.8 million people displaced in Gaza — roughly three-quarters of the population.

In the southern Gazan city of Rafah, resident Abu Jahar al-Hajj says a purported Israeli air strike near his home felt “like an earthquake.”

“Pieces of concrete started falling on us,” he says.

The IDF has said it is working to provide safe havens in areas of the south as fighting intensifies.

“We have asked civilians to evacuate the battlefield and we have provided a designated humanitarian zone inside the Gaza Strip,” military spokesman Jonathan Conricus says, referring to a small coastal area of the territory named Al-Mawasi.

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