Middle East

Thousands flee Khan Younis as Israeli military surrounds city. Here’s the latest

From CNN staff

Thousands of displaced Palestinians are fleeing Khan Younis in southern Gaza as the Israeli military said it has surrounded the city amid further operations west of the area.

CNN video shows displaced people sitting on the side of streets and in the vicinity of the seashore. The video shows cars, trucks, and tractors transporting families and their essential belongings, and crowds of people walking.

Many of those fleeing described terrifying scenes.

“There are dead people on the ground. We left them behind. There are people killed inside the houses,” said displaced Gazan Hisham Sayegh. “We were expecting to die at any minute.”

Meanwhile, Israel is reeling from the deaths of at least 24 of its soldiers in Gaza, in what is the biggest single loss of life for Israeli troops in the enclave since the war with Hamas began. More than 25,000 people have been killed in Gaza since October 7, according to the Hamas-controlled Health Ministry.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Hospitals under siege: Doctors Without Borders staff said they are unable to follow Israel’s evacuation orders for the area around Al-Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis, as the sounds of “bombs and heavy gunfire” go off nearby. “With heavy bombing and fighting moving closer to the areas surrounding Nasser Hospital, injured civilians will not be able to access immediate or urgent care,” the group said. The United Nations said the situation at hospitals in the area has deteriorated as Israeli military operations expand.
  • Sticking point: Qatar is engaged in “serious discussions” with Israel and Hamas, but recent statements by Israeli officials presented an obstacle to progress, a Doha spokesperson said. “Obviously when one side says they don’t accept the two-state solution and that they won’t stop this war eventually … obviously leads to a harder mediation process,” he said. Meantime, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Israel’s rejection of a two-state solution is “unacceptable” and threatens to prolong the conflict.
  • US diplomacy: Ongoing talks to secure the release of hostages held in Gaza have not yet reached the level of “negotiations,” the White House said Tuesday, describing them instead as “sober and serious” discussions about what might be acceptable to all sides. It comes as US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the US will not support Israel creating so-called “buffer zones” permanently in Gaza that would effectively reduce the size of the Palestinian territory.
  • Wider conflict: US strikes on Iran-backed militias in Iraq killed at least one person and injured two others, an Iraqi security source told CNN. The strikes targeted three facilities used by Iran-backed Kataib Hezbollah and other Tehran-affiliated groups following repeated attacks on US forces, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in a statement. It comes as Israeli fighter jets carried out strikes on targets in Lebanon, including a “military asset” used by Hezbollah and operated by Iranian forces, the Israeli military said.
  • Red Sea tensions: The US military conducted strikes in Yemen against two Houthi anti-ship missiles aimed to launch at the southern Red Sea, US Central Command said Tuesday evening. It comes after the US and the UK carried out additional strikes against Houthi targets in Yemen on Monday.

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