UN says 250,000 flee Gaza's Khan Younis following Israeli evacuation order

UN says 250,000 flee Gaza's Khan Younis following Israeli evacuation order
Guterres's comments have been reiterated by UN officials from other agencies throughout Israel's war on Gaza.
8 min read
02 July, 2024

The UN has said that 250,000 Palestinians have fled from the city of Khan Younis westwards amid an uptick in Israeli airstrikes following an evacuation order made on Monday.

The UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Gaza Sigrid Kaag said that a total of 1.9 million Palestinians have been displaced across the Gaza Strip, adding that she was "deeply concerned about reports of new evacuation orders issued in the area of Khan Younis". 

According to Palestinian news agency WAFA the renewed airstrikes on Khan Younis, as well as continued airstrikes on Rafah where Israeli forces are currently operating, have killed at least eight people and wounded 30 others.

The Palestinian Red Crescent Society described the Al-Amal Hospital in Khan Younis as being "overcrowded with injuries" following the evacuation order and the transfer of patients from the European Gaza Hospital in the evacuation zone.

The evacuation order from the Israeli military spurred UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to say that "no place is safe in Gaza", a warning that UN officials have reiterated throughout the war.

Israel's war on Gaza has killed at least 37,925 Palestinians, with a further 87,141 wounded, and has left much of the enclave in rubble.

5:55 PM

The live blog has now ended and will be back tomorrow at 9am. You can read more of The New Arab's coverage of Israel's war on Gaza here.

Israeli military says 15 rockets fired at Kiryat Shmona
4:49 PM
The New Arab Staff

The Israeli military announced that a barrage of 15 rockets had been launched from Lebanon towards Kiryat Shmona, with ten being intercepted and five landing with no casualties. Hezbollah claimed responsibility for the attack which followed an earlier attack against the Jal al-Allam military site.

Hezbollah strikes Israeli military site in northern Israel
4:24 PM
The New Arab Staff

Hezbollah said it struck the Jal al-Allam military site in northern Israel with mortar shells, and that the strikes "achieved a direct hit", according to Lebanon's National News Agency.

Lebanon media, officials say Israel strike kills civilian
3:55 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Lebanese state media, an official and a minister said an Israeli strike killed a civilian in the country's south on Tuesday, the latest casualty in almost nine months of clashes.

"The strike that targeted Bustan killed a civilian," said Lebanon's state-run National News Agency, after earlier reporting Israeli warplanes had struck the village.

Bustan mayor Adnan Ahmed told AFP the strike killed Muhieddin Abu Dallah, a farmer in his 50s, and damaged his house and agricultural machinery.

In a post on social media platform X, Agriculture Minister Abbas Al Hajj Hassan described Abu Dallah as "a Lebanese farmer who resisted the occupation by remaining steadfast on his land, and sacrificed his life".

UN humanitarian coordinator: 1.9 million displaced in Gaza
3:35 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The UN humanitarian coordinator for Gaza said Tuesday that 1.9 million people were now displaced in the territory, adding she was "deeply concerned" by reports of new evacuation orders for Khan Yunis.

"Over 1 million people have been displaced once again, desperately seeking shelter and safety (and) 1.9 million people are now displaced across Gaza... I'm deeply concerned about reports of new evacuation orders issued in the area of Khan Younis," Sigrid Kaag told the UN Security Council.

Netanyahu blasts report saying Israeli army wants ceasefire
3:24 PM
The New Arab Staff

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has blasted a report from the New York Times quoting Israeli military officials as saying they want a ceasefire against Hamas, even if that means allowing Hamas to survive in the Gaza Strip. 

Netanyahu said in a statement that "I don't know who those unnamed parties are, but I'm here to make it unequivocally clear: It won't happen." 

"We will end the war only after we have achieved all of its goals, including the elimination of Hamas and the release of all our hostages," the statement said, adding "WE will not succumb to defeatism, neither at the New York Times nor anywhere else."


US CENTCOM: Destroyed Houthi radar site
2:52 PM
The New Arab Staff

US Central Command (CENTCOM) announced that it had struck a Houthi radar site in Houthi controlled Yemen that "presented an imminent threat to US, coalition forces, and merchant vessels in the region." 

"This action was taken to protect freedom of navigation and make international waters safer and more secure," it announced on X. 

Israeli Mountain Brigade completes first exercise
2:25 PM
The New Arab Staff

Israel's Mountain Brigade, which was established this year and assigned to the 210th Division, has finished its first brigade level exercise, according to the Israeli military. 

According to the military the brigade, which is currently deployed on the Syrian-Lebanon border in northern Israel, conducted a number of scenarios including offensive operations and urban combat in a bid to increase the combat readiness of the brigade.

Lieberman protests Israel's returning electricity to Gaza
1:49 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Avigdor Lieberman, the leader of the Yisrael Beiteinu party, voiced anger over the resumption of supplying electricity to Gaza's water plant.

He said Israel continues to supply Gaza with electricity, water, fuel and goods "contrary to all common sense", although the captives are still being held there.

"The time has come to put an end to these omissions and disengage from Gaza completely," he posted on X.

Evacuation orders ‘another chapter of misery’ for Gazans
1:32 PM
The New Arab Staff

Sam Rose, the planning director of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA), has said that most of the 250,000 Palestinians affected by the latest Israeli evacuation order had already been displaced several times.

Rose spoke to Al Jazeera from the Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza that the Israeli order to leave eastern areas of Gaza’s second-largest city, Khan Younis, left people in a "just harrowing, horrific and incredibly difficult" situation.

"It means yet another day, week, chapter of misery for these hundreds of thousands of people … most of them have been displaced several times. Some had just returned from Rafah where they were displaced a few weeks ago," Rose said.

"They ought to go west, to al-Mawasi – the beachy, sandy area on the coast, but it’s already so overcrowded. There is no room to pitch a tent, there is no water, no infrastructure, no sanitary services. Many spend the night in vehicles or they sleep on their donkey charts," he said.

"They go without knowing precisely where they will end up because this evacuation order told people to go urgently – they know that if they don’t go out within 24 hours the worst is to come."

Live Story
Smotrich criticises supply of power to Gaza sewage plant
12:50 PM
The New Arab Staff

Israeli finance minister Bezalel Smotrich has criticised the decision by the Israeli army to supply energy to Gaza's sewage and water desalination plant in order to allow for the provision of drinking water to Deir el-Balah and Khan Younis. 

Smotrich called on Netanyahu to "stop this folly" in a post on X, however the Israeli military has said it received permission to supply energy to the plant from Israel's political leadership. 

Israeli military carries out strikes on south Lebanon
12:31 PM
The New Arab Staff

The Israeli military have carried out strikes across south Lebanon today, including striking an electrical transformer in the town of Al-Taybeh, with another strike being conducted near Al-Bustan.


Gaza health ministry: 25 killed, 81 wounded in 24 hours
12:05 PM
The New Arab Staff

Gaza's Ministry of Health has announced that in the last 24 hours 25 Palestinians have been killed and a further 81 wounded as Israel continues its war on the enclave.

The ministry also updated the total death toll with 37,925 people being killed and 87,141 being wounded since 7 October. 

250,000 in southern Gaza hit by Israel's evacuation order
11:45 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The UN agency supporting Palestinian refugees estimated Tuesday that a quarter of a million people had been impacted since Israel's army issued a new evacuation order for parts of southern Gaza a day earlier.

"We've seen people moving, families moving, people starting to pack up their belongings and try to leave this area," UNRWA spokeswoman Louise Wateridge told reporters in Geneva via video link from Gaza, adding that the agency "estimates that around 250,000 people have been impacted by these orders".

Two Israeli soldiers killed in central Gaza overnight
11:09 AM
The New Arab Staff

Two Israeli soldiers were killed in overnight fighting in central Gaza, according to the Israeli military, bringing the total number of Israelis killed since the start of the ground operation in Gaza to 322. Another soldier was wounded in the incident.

According to Israeli publication Yedioth Ahronoth, the two were killed in the Netzarim Corridor which splits north Gaza from the south.

Antonio Guterres: 'No shelter materials for displaced'
10:52 AM
The New Arab Staff

Speaking at a conference on Monday, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said that following new Israeli evacuation orders in southern Gaza and new displacement of people in northern Gaza that "there [are] little to no shelter materials or other critical supplies available to support these newly displaced people." 

He added that as well as a shortage of aid getting through into Gaza, colleagues in Gaza warned of the dangers of unexploded ordnance which "pose a significant risk to the lives of people across Gaza."

PRCS: Evacuating European Hospital in Khan Younis
9:50 AM
The New Arab Staff

The Palestinian Red Crescent Society has said that the Al-Amal Hospital in Khan Younis is overcrowded with injured after the organisation began evacuating those being treated at the European Gaza Hospital following Israel's evacuation order of Eastern Gaza on Monday.

It added that it also had to transfer people from Nasser Hospital as it has also become overcrowded due to the transfer of patients from the European Gaza Hospital. 

Although the Israeli military ordered the evacuation of the region the army denied that the evacuation applies to the European Gaza Hospital nor the medical staff working there. In previous invasions, however, Israel has besieged and stormed Gaza's hospitals. 

Iranian advisor says Lebanon invasion risks regional war
9:09 AM
The New Arab Staff

An advisor to Iranian leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told the Financial Times that in the event of an Israeli invasion of Lebanon to fight Hezbollah, Iran and its regional proxies would have "no choice" but to come to the aid of Hezbollah.

He also cautioned against the expansion of the war into Lebanon, saying it was not in the interest of Iran nor the US.

Israel says 44 soldiers injured in operations
8:58 AM
The New Arab Staff

The Israeli military have said that 44 of its soldiers were wounded on Sunday and Monday, including 14 soldiers in the Gaza Strip, according to Al Jazeera. 

According to the Israeli military, 4,021 soldiers have been wounded since the beginning of the war, including 2,032 during ground operations in Gaza.

Palestine Education Ministry: 8,672 students killed in Gaza
8:48 AM
The New Arab Staff

The Palestinian Ministry of Education has said that 8,672 students have been killed in both Gaza and the Israeli occupied West Bank since 7 October, with a further 14,583 being wounded.

Most of those come from Gaza, where the ministry put the figure at 8,572 students killed and 14,089 wounded. 

As well as students, the ministry said that 497 teachers and administrators had been killed and 3,402 had been wounded in Gaza and the occupied West Bank, with 109 more being being arrested in the West Bank.

According to the ministry, some 620,000 students have been deprived of education in the Gaza Strip since the beginning of the war.