The Israeli army on Wednesday dropped thousand of leaflets on Gaza City urging all residents to leave amid an intensified military offensive on the Palestinian territory’s main city, an AFP journalist said.

The leaflets, addressed to “everyone in Gaza City”, set out routes out of the city to designated safe areas further south and warned the urban area would “remain a dangerous combat zone” as the army hits Hamas targets.

Israel issued a first formal evacuation order for part of the city on June 27, and two more in following days.

In the leaflet drop, the army said residents would be able to take two safe roads “quickly and without inspection from Gaza City to shelters in Deir Al-Balah and Al-Zawiya”.

Following the October 7 Hamas attacks, Israel said in January that it had “dismantled” the militant group’s “military structure” in the northern city.

Tens of thousands more residents have already fled Gaza City since troops launched the latest offensive in the city’s eastern Shujaiya district and ground battles have since raged.

The two latest orders covered central and western districts where tanks and troops have moved in this week.

The army also said its forces had attacked militants inside Gaza City’s vacated headquarters of the UN agency for Palestinians, UNRWA.

Strikes have also hit Deir Al-Balah, an area where Palestinians have been urged to move to for safety.

The United Nations on Tuesday expressed alarm at Israel’s evacuation orders, saying they tell Palestinians to go to zones where there is fighting.

This comes as, Palestinian sources said at least 29 people were killed Tuesday in a strike on a school being used to shelter displaced people in Gaza, the fourth such incident in four days.

With AFP