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Israeli military says it conducted 'series of strikes' on southern Gaza that have concluded

Smoke rises during Israeli ground operation in Gaza Strip

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - The Israeli military said on Monday it had conducted a "series of strikes" on southern Gaza that have now "concluded," without providing further details.

Before previous assaults on Gaza cities, Israel's military has ordered civilians to leave without preparing any specific evacuation plan.

Aid agencies say an assault on Rafah in the southern part of Gaza would be catastrophic. It is the last relatively safe place in an enclave devastated by Israel's military offensive.

Local health officials and residents said two houses were bombed and that eight Palestinians were killed, with dozens others wounded, the officials said.

(Reporting by Emily Rose, Nidal al-Mughrabi; Editing by Jamie Freed and Kim Coghill)