DEIR AL-BALAH, Gaza Strip — The Israeli military on Monday renewed its calls for mass evacuations from the southern town of Khan Younis, where tens of thousands of displaced Palestinians have sought refuge in recent weeks, as it widened its ground offensive and bombarded targets across the Gaza Strip.
The expanded offensive, following the collapse of a weeklong cease-fire, is aimed at eliminating Gaza's Hamas rulers, whose Oct. 7 attack into Israel triggered the deadliest Israeli-Palestinian violence in decades. The war has already killed thousands of Palestinians and displaced over three-fourths of the territory's population of 2.3 million Palestinians, who are running out of safe places to go.
Already under mounting pressure from its top ally, the United States, Israel appears to be racing to strike a death blow against Hamas — if that's even possible, given the group's deep roots in Palestinian society — before another cease-fire. But the mounting toll of the fighting, which Palestinian health officials say has killed several hundred civilians since the truce ended on Friday, further increases pressure to return to the negotiating table.
It could also render even larger parts of the isolated territory uninhabitable.
The ground offensive has transformed much of the north, including large parts of Gaza City, into a rubble-filled wasteland. Hundreds of thousands of people have sought refuge in the south, which…