Gaza: intensification of Israeli strikes, massive flight of Palestinian civilians from Rafah

Gaza: intensification of Israeli strikes, massive flight of Palestinian civilians from Rafah
Gaza: intensification of Israeli strikes, massive flight of Palestinian civilians from Rafah

In the early hours of Tuesday, witnesses and AFP correspondents reported multiple airstrikes by the Israeli army in different sectors of Gaza, with Palestinian civil defense counting at least eight dead in a bombardment on a building in the Nousseirat camp (center). In 24 hours, at least 82 additional deaths were recorded throughout the Palestinian territory by the Hamas Ministry of Health.

Strikes notably targeted the Rafah sector (south), where nearly 1.4 million Palestinians are crowded together. If the vast majority of this population had found refuge in Rafah to try to escape the Israeli military operations of recent months, a part of them is now fleeing this city backed by Egypt’s closed border.

On May 7, the Israeli army entered with its tanks and seized the eponymous crossing point, crucial for the entry of humanitarian convoys. It also issued evacuation orders to civilians, nearly 360,000 of whom left the area, according to the UN.

On foot, in cars or in vans, Palestinians continued to flee areas of Rafah on Monday, after dismantling their tents and taking their belongings. Other residents remaining in Rafah are desperate. “Since this morning, I have been looking for bread to feed my children, in vain. My children are on the street and I don’t know where to take them. Rafah is a ghost town», says Mostafa Dib. “The bakeries are closed, all the stores are closed. We have no water, no food, nothing», Underlines another resident, Ahmed al-Tawil.

Bombings have also increased for several days in Jabaliya and Gaza City (north), where the Israeli army has also issued evacuation orders, pushing Palestinians to flee, while the UN affirms that “no place is safe in the Gaza Strip“.

We move from one place to another but the bombings continue everywhere», Tells AFP Mahmoud al-Barsh, a Palestinian who arrived from Jabaliya in Gaza City, ravaged after more than seven months of Israeli strikes.

The Hamas attack on October 7, 2023 on Israeli soil resulted in the deaths of more than 1,170 people, the majority civilians, according to an AFP count based on official Israeli data.

In retaliation, Israel has been relentlessly shelling the Gaza Strip for 7 months, which it has kept under blockade for 17 years and under total siege since the start of the war. The Israeli army’s bombings and ground operations left 35,173 Palestinians dead, the vast majority of them women, children and adolescents, and more than 79,000 injured, according to the latest report published by the Hamas Ministry of Health.

The Israeli army also carries out military operations in the West Bank, a Palestinian territory occupied by Israel since 1967 and where Hamas is not represented. Since October 7, 2023, more than 500 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces or settlers in the West Bank, and hundreds of people have been “arrested” by Israeli forces.

The Hamas health ministry warned that the healthcare system in Gaza was on the verge of “collapse» lack of fuel to operate hospital generators and ambulances. The delivery of aid to Gaza has been virtually blocked according to the UN since Israel closed the Rafah crossing last week, crucial for the entry of humanitarian convoys, casting the shadow of famine more than ever on the Gaza Strip. the entire population of Gaza.

By Le360 (with AFP)

05/14/2024 at 7:12 a.m.

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