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Israeli military tells Palestinians not to return to north Gaza after witnesses say troops killed 5

DEIR AL-BALAH, Gaza Strip - The Israeli military renewed warnings on Monday for Palestinians not to return to northern Gaza, a day after witnesses and medical officials said Israeli troops opened fire and killed five people among throngs of displaced residents trying to walk back to their homes in the devastated area.

Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were driven from the north after Israeli forces first launched their offensive there soon after Hamas' Oct. 7 attack on southern Israel. In the months of fighting since, vast parts of the north have been flattened, including much of Gaza City. After months of Israeli restrictions on aid to the north, some 300,000 who remained there are on the brink of famine, according to the United Nations.

Still, many Palestinians have wanted to go back, saying they are sick of the conditions they endured in displacement. For months, families have been crammed into tent camps, schools-turned-shelters and homes of relatives throughout the south of the Gaza Strip. Some also fear remaining in Rafah, Gaza's southernmost town, as Israel says it plans to attack it eventually to root out Hamas.


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