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Gaza war: Palestinians flee as Israeli forces go back into Jabalia

Legend, A UN agency said operations in northern Gaza had “created further displacement and fear for thousands of families”.

Heavy fighting was reported in Jabalia in northern Gaza after the Israeli army returned to areas where it said Hamas had regrouped.

Residents who fled said they saw tanks advancing towards the Jabalia refugee camp, which has been under heavy shelling since Saturday.

Palestinian armed groups also said they were fighting troops in the camp.

Meanwhile, the UN said 360,000 people had fled Rafah in the south since the offensive began a week ago.

The Israeli army ordered the evacuation of the eastern third of the city, which is home to more than a million Palestinian refugees.

On Sunday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned Israel that a large-scale offensive in Rafah could cause “anarchy” without eliminating Hamas.

His comments echo statements made to Israeli media by unnamed Israeli military officials, who said the resurgence of Hamas in northern Gaza was due to the lack of a specific Israeli government plan for the “day of after the war.

The army reduced its operations in the north in January after saying it had “dismantled” Hamas battalions there. But that left a power vacuum in which the group could rebuild.

An estimated 300,000 people trapped in the devastated region are also experiencing “widespread famine” due to a lack of humanitarian aid, according to the head of the World Food Program.

Residents filmed fleeing Jabalia on foot Monday morning said they decided to leave after seeing tanks advancing in the area.

“We don’t know where to go. We have been moved from one place to another,” one woman told Reuters news agency. “We are running through the streets. I saw it with my own eyes. I saw the tank and the bulldozer.”

The military wings of Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad – both of which are banned as terrorist organizations by Israel, the UK, the US and other countries – have said their fighters are targeting Israeli forces in and around the Jabalia camp with mortars, anti-tank missiles and machine guns. firearms.

The Hamas-affiliated Safa news agency also reported clashes between Palestinian armed groups and Israeli tanks east of the Jabalia camp market, near several UN-run schools that served as shelters for civilians.

The official Palestinian Wafa news agency reported that two people were killed in Israeli strikes on houses in the Jabalia camp on Monday and that a number of others were killed in a strike in the town of Jabalia.

He also cited ambulance crews saying the bodies of 20 civilians had so far been found in Jabalia and taken to Kamal Adwan Hospital in Beit Lahia.

There was no immediate comment from the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).

On Sunday, the Israeli military said its troops launched an operation in Jabalia the previous evening “based on intelligence information regarding Hamas’ attempts to amass its terrorist infrastructure and operatives in the area.”

This happened after civilians were ordered to evacuate to the west of Gaza City.

The Israeli military also said it was operating in the Zeitoun area, east of Gaza City, to “eliminate terrorists and dismantle terrorist infrastructure.”

Safa reported that Zeitoun was hit by Israeli shelling on Monday morning.

The United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees, Unrwa, said the bombings and evacuation orders had “created further displacement and fear for thousands of families” in northern Gaza.

UNRWA also warned that affected civilians, like the 360,000 people who fled Rafah last week, had “nowhere to go safely”.

After seven months of war in Gaza, Israel insisted that victory was impossible without the capture of Rafah and the elimination of the last Hamas battalions. But the UN and Western powers have warned that a widespread attack could lead to significant civilian casualties and a humanitarian catastrophe.

Legend, The Israeli military said its operation was based on intelligence that Hamas was regrouping in Jabalia.

Desperate scenes have occurred in Rafah since the IDF announced last Monday that it was beginning a “precise operation against Hamas” in eastern Rafah.

On Saturday, leaflets were distributed ordering residents to evacuate the easternmost neighborhoods, including those close to the city center.

UNRWA’s deputy director in Gaza, Scott Anderson, based west of Rafah, told the BBC on Monday that the Israeli operation now extended “about a third of the way across Rafah” and included the old City.

He said he could hear explosions and airstrikes and that the fighting had affected the functioning of hospitals and many UNRWA facilities in the Rafah refugee camp, including a primary health care facility.

Palestinian media reported that four people, including a child, were killed Monday in an Israeli airstrike on a house in the Brazil neighborhood, just southeast of the camp.

Hamas’ military wing also said it had targeted Israeli forces east of Rafah.

Many people taking refuge in central and western areas not subject to evacuation orders have also left the country out of fear that the Israeli operation could soon turn into a full-scale offensive.

Ghada el-Kurd, a mother of two, told the BBC on Monday that she had recently fled to Deir al-Balah in the central Gaza area – the seventh time she had been displaced during the war.

She said the streets of Deir al-Balah were “filled with sewage” and the destruction of homes and infrastructure was “huge, not like that of Rafah”.

She added: “I’m lucky to have a house, but most other people live in tents and suffer from the heat, lack of water and lack of food.”

Deir al-Balah is part of the IDF-designated “extended humanitarian zone”, which extends north from the al-Mawasi coastal strip to the town of Khan Younis and the middle Gaza area.

The Israeli army told evacuees they would find field hospitals, tents and humanitarian supplies there, but Unrwa’s Anderson said it lacked the necessary infrastructure.

In al-Mawasi, he explained, “everything that people have access to must be transported by truck… including food, water and transport of solid waste.”

“For the people moving to Khan Younis, it’s very similar… They’re still recovering from the Israeli operation that took place a few months ago.”

Mr Anderson also called on Israel and Hamas to agree to the creation of a “fixed corridor” that would allow UN trucks to safely enter and exit the neighboring Kerem Shalom border crossing with Israel – a point entry key for help.

Israel said it reopened the crossing last Wednesday after closing it for four days due to Hamas rocket fire that killed four Israeli soldiers. But the UN said it was too dangerous to collect aid due to hostilities in eastern Rafah.

The Rafah border crossing with Egypt has also been closed since Israeli troops took full control of the Palestinian side last Tuesday.

In a statement released Sunday, Hamas accused Israel of “intensifying its brutal massacres in various areas of the Gaza Strip.”

Israel launched a military campaign in Gaza to destroy Hamas in response to the group’s cross-border attack on southern Israel on October 7, in which around 1,200 people were killed and 252 others taken hostage.

Since then, more than 35,090 people have been killed in Gaza, according to the Hamas-run territory’s health ministry.

News Source : www.bbc.com
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jack colman

With a penchant for words, jack began writing at an early age. As editor-in-chief of his high school newspaper, he honed his skills telling impactful stories. Smith went on to study journalism at Columbia University, where he graduated top of his class. After interning at the New York Times, jack landed a role as a news writer. Over the past decade, he has covered major events like presidential elections and natural disasters. His ability to craft compelling narratives that capture the human experience has earned him acclaim. Though writing is his passion, jack also enjoys hiking, cooking and reading historical fiction in his free time. With an eye for detail and knack for storytelling, he continues making his mark at the forefront of journalism.
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