Palestinians cook among the houses destroyed in Israeli strikes during the conflict, amid the temporary truce between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, at Khan Younis refugee camp, in the southern Gaza Strip, November 29, 2023.
U.S. officials from President Joe Biden on down, including in the State Department and Pentagon, are pleading with Israel to take a more cautious approach if and when the Israeli military extends its offensive to southern Gaza.
Two-thirds of the enclave's population of 2.3 million have fled south to avoid the war zone in the north.
Israel's operation in the north drew strong international criticism and Biden has taken fire at home for his sweeping support for Israel.
Many of the lead architects of the Hamas attacks in southern Israel on Oct. 7, in which 1,200 people were killed, are in the south, one official noted.
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