Israel’s military was carrying out extensive operations against Hamas and other terror groups in Gaza overnight, and heavy fighting is reported in the southern part of the Palestinian enclave, according to Hebrew-language media.
Extensive ground battles are reported in the Khan Younis area, according to Channel 12, amid intelligence that some of Hamas’s leadership is present in the city.
Army Radio says military forces are also operating in Gaza City and Beit Lahia, in northern Gaza.
Earlier, Israel carried out strikes in Khan Younis and Rafah, also in southern Gaza.
Gazans reported the IDF had dropped flyers in Khan Younis calling on residents to move south to Rafah, warning the area is dangerous.
The IDF earlier published a map splitting the Gaza Strip into hundreds of small zones, which it will use to notify Palestinian civilians of active combat zones.
It asked Palestinians to pay attention to their area’s number, and follow the IDF’s future updates.
The military may use this map to call on Palestinians from specific areas to evacuate when the IDF’s ground offensive expands to the Strip’s south, instead of demanding mass evacuations as it did in the northern part of Gaza.
“The IDF is operating strongly against terror organizations, while making great efforts to differentiate between civilians and terrorists,” the military said in a message to Gazans.
“The people of Gaza are not our enemies. For this reason, as of this morning the IDF is leading controlled and specific evacuations of Gaza residents in order to remove them as much as possible from areas of combat.”