An estimated 50,000 people fled south from northern Gaza on Wednesday as Israel continued its ground offensive in Gaza City.
Many of the buildings in the north of the have been destroyed and toppled trees are a common sight.
Journalists on the ground saw little sign of civilian activity, save for Israeli flags that now fly from Gaza beach resorts.
Israeli army spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said Hamas’ loss of control in northern Gaza is convincing people to leave the area.
“They’re leaving because they understand that Hamas lost control in the north, and in the south it’s safer, Hagari said. “Hamas has lost control and is continuing to lose control in the north.”
An Israeli military officer told The Associated Press news agency that soldiers had not seen civilians in the area.
“We have not seen any civilians here — only ,” the anonymous lieutenant colonel said. “We gave all the people that live here a good heads-up that we’re coming.”
He added that Hamas militants had been spotted above ground as well as emerging from a system of tunnels the group has dug under Gaza.
The Israel Defense Forces said a temporary evacuation corridor will be set up again on Thursday to allow people safely to flee south.
Israel has called on residents of Gaza to move out of the northern Gaza Strip for their own safety. Israeli military operations continue in the southern regions of the enclave as well as the north.
Over 10,500 people have died in Gaza since the start of an Israeli military campaign, according to the Hamas-led Health Ministry. The Israeli operation followed Hamas terror attacks in southern Israel on October 7 that killed 1,400 people.
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