For the first time since the start of Israel’s ground war in Gaza, the Israel Defense Forces on Wednesday dropped leaflets in the area of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip.
The leaflets instructed Palestinians to leave their homes and move towards safe shelters, while stressing that Israel does not want to harm civilians. The leaflets said that Hamas and other terror organizations were forcing the IDF to take action.
According to a series of reports from the Gaza Strip, in recent days the IDF has increased the pressure on the city of Khan Yunis. The city is the second largest in the Strip and is considered the capital of Gaza’s southern district. The towns of Bani Sahila and Al-Qarara near Khan Yunis were shelled on Wednesday.
A tent city has been established near Khan Yunis, to which thousands of Palestinians fled from northern Gaza.
Khan Yunis is regarded as a personal stronghold of Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar, whose family lives there. Since the war began, the IDF has eliminated two members of the Hamas ruling politburo as well as associates of Sinwar, who live in Khan Yunis.
Sources in the Gaza Strip believe the IDF is now trying to put pressure on Sinwar, who may have escaped from the north of the Strip.