DE News Desk
Fierce Israeli tank fire and aerial bombing struck Khan Younis in the Gaza Strip on Friday night, residents said, after nearly 200 people were reported killed in 24 hours in Israeli attacks.
Planes also carried out a series of air strikes on the Nuseirat camp in central Gaza, according to medics and Palestinian journalists, reports Al Jazeera.
Israeli forces have been pounding Khan Younis in preparation for an anticipated further advance into the main southern city, swathes of which they captured in early December.
Twelve weeks after Hamas stormed Israeli towns, killing 1,200 people and seizing 240 hostages, Israeli forces have laid much of the Gaza Strip to waste as it pursues its war aimed at eradicating Palestinians.
Nearly all of Gaza’s 2.3 million people have fled their homes at least once and many are on the move again, often reduced to taking shelter in makeshift tents or huddled under tarpaulins and plastic sheets on open ground.
The narrow coastal strip is just 40 km (25 miles) long, making it one of the most densely populated areas in the world.
Gaza health authorities said 187 Palestinians were confirmed killed in Israeli strikes in the 24-hour period, raising the overall toll to 21,507 – about 1% of Gaza’s population. Thousands more bodies are feared to be buried in the ruins of neighbourhoods.