Israel intensifies its assault on southern Gaza, causing renewed concern about civilian deaths

KHAN YOUNIS, Gaza Strip (AP) — Israel pounded targets in the southern Gaza Strip on Saturday, intensifying a renewed offensive that followed a weeklong truce with Hamas and giving rise to renewed concerns about civilian casualties.

At least 200 Palestinians have been killed since the , according to the Health Ministry in Hamas-run Gaza, even as the United States urged ally Israel to do everything possible to protect civilians.

“This is going to be very important going forward," Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Friday after meetings with Arab foreign ministers in Dubai, since the war started. "It’s something we’re going to be looking at very closely.”

Many of Israel's attacks Saturday were focused on the Khan Younis area in southern Gaza, where the military said it had struck more than 50 Hamas targets with airstrikes, tank fire and its navy.

The military dropped leaflets the day before warning residents to leave but, as of late Friday, there had been no reports of large numbers of people leaving, according to the United Nations.