Israel has carried out deadly bombardments in Gaza for a second day after a weeklong truce with Hamas collapsed despite international calls for an extension.
Clouds of grey smoke from the strikes hung on Saturday over Gaza, where the Hamas-run Ministry of Health said nearly 200 people had been killed since the pause in hostilities expired early on Friday.
Residents feared the latest bombings presage an Israeli ground operation in the south of the Palestinian territory that would pin them into a shrinking area and possibly try to push them into Egypt.
The southern part of Gaza, including Khan Younis and Rafah, was pounded by Israeli war planes and artillery on Saturday. Thousands of displaced Palestinians are sheltering there because of fighting in the north.
Residents said houses had been hit and three mosques destroyed in Khan Younis.
Palestinian witnesses said Israeli tanks had taken up positions near the road between Khan Younis and Deir el-Balah.
“A night of horror,” said Samira, a mother of four. “It was one of the worst nights we spent in Khan Younis in the past six weeks since we arrived here. … We are so afraid they will enter Khan Younis.”
Officials said the overall death toll in Gaza since the October 7 start of the Israel-Hamas war has surpassed 15,200 while more than 40,000 people have been wounded in the Israeli attacks.