Israel orders Palestinians to evacuate south Gaza

Author: AP

Israel’s military ordered more areas in and around Gaza’s second-largest city of Khan Younis to evacuate on Sunday, followed by heavy bombardment, as it shifted its offensive to the southern half of the territory where it asserts that leaders of the Hamas militant group are hiding.

Palestinians in Gaza said they were running out of places to go. The Gaza Strip, bordering Israel and Egypt, is sealed. Many of the territory´s 2.3 million people are crammed in the south after Israel ordered civilians to leave the north in the early days of the war sparked by the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas and other militants that killed about 1,200 people, mostly civilians, in southern Israel. Before the latest evacuation orders, United Nations monitors said the areas told to evacuate made up about one-quarter of the territory.

Heavy bombardment was reported overnight into Sunday around Khan Younis and the southern city of Rafah, as well as parts of the north that had been the focus of Israel’s shattering air and ground offensive. Juliette Toma, director of communications at the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees, said nearly 958,000 displaced people were in 99 United Nations facilities in the southern Gaza Strip. U.N. human rights chief Volker Türk urged an end to the war, saying civilian suffering was “too much to bear.” Hopes for another temporary truce were fading. A weeklong cease-fire that expired Friday had facilitated the release of dozens of the around 240 Gaza-held Israeli and foreign hostages in exchange for Palestinians imprisoned by Israel. But Israel has called its negotiators home.

“We will continue the war until we achieve all its goals, and it´s impossible to achieve those goals without the ground operation,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Saturday evening. One goal is to remove Hamas from power in Gaza. It was not clear how many people had been killed since the end of the cease-fire. On Sunday, Israel’s military widened evacuation orders in and around Khan Younis, telling residents of at least five more areas and neighborhoods to leave. Residents said the military dropped leaflets ordering them to move south to the border city of Rafah or to a coastal area in the southwest. “Khan Younis city is a dangerous combat zone,” leaflets read.

But Halima Abdel-Rahman, a widow and mother of four, said she won´t heed such orders anymore. She fled her home in October to an area outside Khan Younis, where she stays with relatives. “The occupation tells you to go to this area, then they bomb it,” she said by phone.

“The reality is that no place is safe in Gaza. They kill people in the north. They kill people in the south.” The United States, Israel´s closest ally, has told Israel to avoid significant new mass displacement and do more to protect civilians.

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris also told Egypt’s president that “under no circumstances” would the U.S. permit the forced relocation of Palestinians from Gaza or the West Bank, an ongoing siege of Gaza or the redrawing of its borders. On the ground in Gaza, there was frustration and mourning.

Share
Leave a Comment

Recent Posts

  • Op-Ed

Elected Assembly and Expectations

The elected members of the assembly for the 2024 elections have taken their oaths. Pakistan's…

9 hours ago
  • Op-Ed

Extremism: Where do we stand?

In 1985, during a session of the Senate chaired by Ghulam Ishaq Khan, a point…

9 hours ago
  • Op-Ed

Tech-Parks And Universities

Tech Park is an area where companies have offices and laboratories and do work involving…

9 hours ago
  • Op-Ed

Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline

The common man and the middle class have been hit by the ever-escalating cost of…

9 hours ago
  • Editorial

Surprise Twist

In today's volatile political climate, it seems that politics is just a game of unpredictabilities.…

9 hours ago
  • Editorial

Special Times

On Saturday, a heart-wrenching video surfaced on social media showing an unbelievably long queue of…

9 hours ago