Israel's evacuation orders cover 2/3rd of Gaza

Jerusalem: Israel‘s evacuation orders in the Gaza Strip now cover two-thirds of the territory, or 246 square kilometers (95 square miles), United Nations humanitarian monitors said Tuesday. More than half of Gaza’s population of 2.3 million people is now crammed into the town of Rafah on the border with Egypt and surrounding areas, the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said.

The Health Ministry in Gaza said the known Palestinian death toll is at 27,478 people after nearly four months of war. A quarter of Gaza’s residents are now starving and 85% of the population has been driven from their homes, with hundreds of thousands crammed in makeshift tent camps.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman shortly after arriving in the kingdom Monday. It’s Blinken’s fifth visit to the Mideast since the war in Gaza broke out on Oct. 7, when Hamas stormed into southern Israel. The assault killed some 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and militants abducted around 250 others.

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Roy Walsh

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