Hamas has “lost control” of northern Gaza and 50,000 civilians have moved to the south of the enclave seeking safety, the Israeli military claimed on Wednesday.
In a televised briefing, IDF spokesman Daniel Hagari said Gazans were leaving as they knew they could access “food, water and medication” in the south.
It came as the IDF ramped up its ground campaign in the densely populated enclave. Gaza City is the focus of Israel’s campaign to crush Hamas following its brutal attack on southern Israel on October 7.
The number of Palestinians killed in the war passed 10,500 on Wednesday, including more than 4,300 children, the Hamas-run Health Ministry in Gaza said. More than 1,400 people in Israel have been killed, most of them in the Hamas attack last month.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs on Wednesday said that about 15,000 people fled the northern Gaza region on Tuesday, compared to 5,000 on Monday and 2,000 on Sunday.
Meanwhile, White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said that Palestinians “should be the determining voice” in deciding who will govern the Gaza Strip after the war is over.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday claimed that Israel would continue to assume responsibility for security in the Gaza Strip.
Asked if the administration wanted the Palestinian Authority, which currently governs parts of the occupied West Bank, to oversee Gaza as well, Mr Kirby responded that the Biden administration believes “that the Palestinians should be in charge of their future.”
"Now, what exactly does that governance structure looks like, and when does it get put in place, and who are the players that are going to help adapt that - all that we're working out," Kirby said.
In other developments, Lebanese militant group Hezbollah claimed two attacks on Israeli infantry units in the areas of Shomera and Dovev on Wednesday which it said inflicted casualties on Israeli forces.
Israeli troops and Hezbollah militants have been clashing along the border since the start of the Israel-Hamas war a month ago.