UN voices concern over Israel's new evacuation orders for Gaza

The United Nations has expressed strong concern over the Israeli military's latest evacuation orders for people in parts of southern Gaza.

The Israeli military on Monday ordered people in Khan Younis, Rafah and other parts in the south to immediately leave.

At a regularly scheduled news conference on Tuesday, UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said the orders apply to 117 square kilometers, or about one third of the Gaza Strip.

He noted that about 250,000 people will be forced to evacuate, making it the largest evacuation since October when the fighting began and residents were ordered to leave northern Gaza.

Dujarric said, "An evacuation of such a massive scale will only heighten the suffering of civilians and drive humanitarian needs even higher."

UN Senior Humanitarian and Reconstruction Coordinator for Gaza Sigrid Kaag reported at a UN Security Council meeting on Tuesday that 1.9 million people are displaced across Gaza.

Kaag said the new evacuation orders' impact on the civilian population is deep and that "nowhere is safe" in Gaza.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last month said the phase of intense fighting in the Gaza Strip was about to end.

But some media outlets say the Israeli military is continuing attacks in multiple areas as Hamas moves to regroup.