May 30, 2024

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The war between Israel and Hamas: Israel orders new evacuations in the city of Rafah in Gaza

The war between Israel and Hamas: Israel orders new evacuations in the city of Rafah in Gaza

Rafah (Gaza Strip) – Israel ordered new evacuations in Rafah, Gaza Strip (AFP) – Israel ordered new evacuations in Gaza The southern city of Rafah on Saturday, forcing tens of thousands of people to flee as it prepares to expand its military operation near the densely populated central region, in defiance of mounting pressure from its close ally the United States and others.

The Israeli army also said it was moving to a devastated area in northern Gaza, where it confirmed that Hamas had reorganized its ranks.

Israel has now evacuated the eastern third of the city of Rafah, which is considered the last refuge in Gaza. The United Nations and other organizations have warned that a large-scale Israeli invasion of Rafah would cripple humanitarian operations and cause a catastrophic rise in civilian casualties. The Rafah crossing on the border with Egypt is located near the main aid entry points that have already been affected. Israeli forces It seized the Gaza side of the Rafah crossingand force it to close.

US President Joe Biden said that he would not provide offensive weapons to Israel in Rafah. The United States said on Friday that there was a “reasonable” Evidence that Israel violated international law Protecting civilians in the way it conducted its war against Hamas – the strongest statement the Biden administration has made yet on this matter.

In response to the US report, Ofir Falk, a foreign policy adviser to the Israeli prime minister, told the AP that Israel acts in accordance with the laws of armed conflict, and that the military is taking broad measures to avoid civilian casualties, including alerting people to military operations via phone calls. And text messages.

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more than 1.4 million Palestinians Half of Gaza’s population – half the population – has taken refuge in Rafah, most of them after fleeing Israeli attacks elsewhere. The evacuations are forcing people to return to the north, where areas have been devastated by previous Israeli attacks. Aid agencies estimate 110,000 people had done so before Saturday’s order, adding another 40,000.

“What should we do here? Should we wait until we all die on top of each other? So we decided to leave. This is better,” said Hanan Al-Satri, a Rafah resident, as people rushed to load mattresses, water tanks and other belongings onto vehicles.

“The Israeli army does not have a safe zone in Gaza. “They target everything,” said Abu Youssef Al-Deiri, who was previously displaced from Gaza City.

Many people have been displaced multiple times, and there are only a few places left to go. Some fleeing the fighting earlier in the week set up new camps in the city of Khan Yunis – half of which was destroyed in a previous Israeli attack – and the city of Deir al-Balah, straining infrastructure.

Some Palestinians are being sent to what Israel calls safe humanitarian zones along Gaza’s coastal Mawasi Strip. But the area is already crowded with about 450,000 people living in squalid conditions, and the garbage-strewn camp lacks basic facilities.

Georgios Petropoulos, an official at the UN humanitarian agency in Rafah, said aid workers do not have supplies to help people settle in new locations. “We simply have no tents, no blankets, no beds, none of the materials you would expect a mobile population to be able to get from the humanitarian system,” he said.

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Petropoulos said the World Food Program warned that the food to be distributed in southern Gaza would run out by Saturday. Aid groups said fuel would also soon run out, forcing hospitals to halt vital operations and halt trucks delivering aid through southern and central Gaza.

Heavy fighting is also taking place in northern Gaza, where Hamas appears to have regrouped in an area where Israel has launched attacks. Israeli army spokesman Avichai Adraee asked Palestinians in Jabalia, Beit Lahia and the surrounding areas to leave their homes and go to shelters in western Gaza City, warning that people are in a “dangerous combat zone” and that Israel will strike “with great force.” “.

Northern Gaza was the first target of the Israeli ground offensive that began after Hamas and other militants attacked southern Israel on October 7, killing about 1,200 people, most of them civilians, and taking 250 others hostage. They still hold about 100 prisoners and the remains of more than 30.

Israel said late last year that it had largely dismantled Hamas in northern Gaza.

The United Nations agency that supports people in Gaza, known as UNRWA, said about 300,000 people were affected by evacuation orders in Rafah and Jabalia, but the numbers are likely to be higher because they are densely populated areas.

“We are very concerned that these evacuation orders have been issued towards central Rafah and Jabalia,” Louise Waterridge, UNRWA spokeswoman in Rafah, told the Associated Press.

Israeli bombing and ground attacks led to the deaths of more than 34,800 Palestinians, most of them women and children, according to the Gaza Ministry of Health, which does not distinguish between civilians and combatants in its numbers. Israel blames Hamas for civilian casualties, and accuses it of being present in densely populated residential areas.

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At least 19 people, including eight women and eight children, were killed overnight in central Gaza in airstrikes that hit the Zawaida, Maghazi and Deir al-Balah areas, according to Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir al-Balah and an Associated Press journalist who counted the casualties. Corpses.

Another round of ceasefire talks in Cairo ended earlier this week without any progress.

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Madanak reported from Tel Aviv and Magdy from Cairo. Jack Jeffrey in Jerusalem contributed.

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Follow AP’s coverage of the war on https://apnews.com/hub/israel-hamas-war