KHAN YOUNIS, Gaza Strip (NEWSnet/AP) — Israel's military on Sunday ordered evacuation of additional areas in and near Gaza's city of Khan Younis, as it shifted its offensive to the southern half of the territory, where it says many Hamas leaders are hiding.

Heavy bombardment was reported overnight Khan Younis and Rafah, as well as parts of the north that had been the focus of Israel's air and ground campaign.

The U.N. human rights chief urged ending the war, saying the suffering of civilians is “too much to bear.”

Many of the territory’s 2.3 million people are crammed in the south after Israeli forces ordered civilians to leave the north in the early days of the 2-month-old war.

With the resumption of fighting, hope for another temporary truce receded. A weeklong cease-fire, which expired Dec. 1, had facilitated the release of dozens of Gaza-held Israeli and foreign hostages and Palestinians imprisoned by Israel.

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Saturday the nation will continue the war “until we achieve all its goals, and it’s impossible to achieve those goals without the ground operation.”

Several hundred thousand Palestinians have received evacuation orders since fighting resumed, but they have few places to go.

Halima Abdel-Rahman, a Palestinian widow and mother of four, said she won’t heed the evacuation orders any more. She fled her home in Beit Lahia in October for an area outside Khan Younis, where she is staying with relatives and which has come under an evacuation order.

“No, we won’t leave,” she said over the phone. “The occupation tells you to go to this area then they bomb it. The reality is that no place is safe in Gaza. They kill people in the north. They kill people in the south.”

U.N. monitors said in a report issued before the latest evacuation orders that those who were told to leave make up about one-quarter of the territory of Gaza, home to nearly 800,000 people before the war. Gaza Strip, bordering Israel and Egypt to the south, is sealed, leaving residents with the only option of moving within Gaza to avoid the bombings.

The main hospital in Khan Younis received at least three dead and dozens wounded Sunday morning from an Israeli strike that hit a residential building in the eastern part of the city, according to an Associated Press journalist at the hospital.

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