Israel-Gaza latest: Hamas claims British-Israeli hostage has died as IDF orders new evacuation

Israel ordered new evacuations in Gaza’s southern city of Rafah on Saturday, forcing tens of thousands more people to leave as it prepared to expand its military operation deeper into what is considered Gaza’s last refuge.

As pro-Palestinian protests continued against the war, Israel’s military also said it was moving into an area of devastated northern Gaza where it asserted that the Hamas militant group has regrouped after seven months of fighting.

Israel has now evacuated the eastern third of Rafah, and top military spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said dozens of militants had been killed there as “targeted operations continued.”

The United Nations has warned that the planned full-scale Rafah invasion would further cripple humanitarian operations and cause a surge in civilian deaths.

Louise Wateridge, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) communications officer, who is based in Rafah, told The Independent that the lack of food is “sending panic” around the region.

“People are aware that the border crossings are not functioning, they are aware that aid is not coming in, that in itself is going to send panic around the community, because already they are fighting for survival every day,” she said.

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