Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Israel-Hamas War and Gaza News: Latest Updates


The evacuation order issued for parts of the Gaza Strip this week was the largest since October, according to the United Nations.credit…Iyad Baba/AFP – Getty Images

The Israeli military’s evacuation order this week, which covered about a third of the Gaza Strip, came as people there are increasingly unable to cope with repeated forced displacement, after nearly nine months of war that has left tens of thousands dead and wounded and put the region at risk of famine.

The order, which the United Nations estimated affected about 250,000 people, was the largest since October, when about a million residents of northern Gaza were ordered to flee their homes, the organization said. He said Tuesday.

“It’s an endless cycle of death and displacement,” Louise Waterridge, a spokeswoman for the main U.N. agency that helps Palestinians, UNRWA, said in audio messages from central Gaza on Wednesday. “People here express a loss of hope, a loss of willpower, facing another forced displacement and the absolute uncertainty of safety.”

The Israeli military issued a warning on Monday to evacuate large parts of the cities of Khan Younis and Rafah, and by Tuesday thousands of people were fleeing. The order followed a night of heavy shelling in southern and central Gaza. The order came after the Israeli military said Palestinian militant groups fired a barrage of about 20 rockets from Gaza toward Israeli cities on Monday.

UN Secretary-General’s spokesman Stephane Dujarric said on Tuesday that his colleagues were “deeply concerned” about the impact.

“People are faced with an impossible choice: either move – some probably for the second or even third time – to areas with little space or services, or stay in areas where they know there will be heavy fighting,” he added.

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Mr. Dujarric said the issue includes more than 90 school buildings, many of which have been turned into overcrowded shelters because people cannot find places to stay, as well as four medical facilities.

Among these hospitals was the European Hospital in Khan Younis, where many had taken refuge and hundreds of patients were receiving treatment. After medical staff, patients and displaced people fled the hospital, the Israeli military said on Tuesday that people did not need to leave the hospital.

The International Committee of the Red Cross said on Wednesday that the hospital was no longer functioning due to the departure of many staff.

Although many people in the evacuation zone have made the decision to flee again, moving elsewhere becomes more difficult as the war continues.

“In terms of people’s ability to move, it’s been eight months of war and people are very exhausted, they’re tired, they’re malnourished,” said Ms. Waterridge. “Health-wise, people are much weaker, there are more injuries, there’s less medicine, less fresh fruit, less water.”

Medical staff at Nasser Hospital in Khan Yunis, on Wednesday, deal with the influx of patients from the European Hospital after the Israeli evacuation decision.credit…Iyad Baba/AFP – Getty Images

She added that more people are also fleeing on foot, so they are taking fewer belongings with them.

Heba Asraf, 29, a singer living in Khan Younis, said she only learned about the evacuation when she saw hundreds of people passing outside. Some were carrying mattresses, she said, while others were carrying only backpacks.

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“They didn’t carry much stuff this time,” Ms Osrov said. “I think they were too tired to keep moving stuff from one place to another, and they didn’t have money to pay for trucks.”

Ms Osrov said she and her family of five were living in what was left of their two-storey house, in a part of the city not under evacuation orders. If the tanks approached their home and they had to flee again, she might take only her identity card, mobile phone and some clothes with her, she said.

Among the dangers people face as they flee are unexploded bombs and other munitions, according to the United Nations. These bombs pose a particular risk to children.

The organization reported that a 9-year-old girl was killed and three others were injured on Saturday when an unexploded ordnance exploded south of Khan Younis. Six children were injured in the city last month in a similar explosion.

Abu Bakr Bashir Contributing to the report from London.