Tens of thousands of Palestinians in Gaza flee for 2nd time

Tens of thousands of Palestinians in Gaza flee for 2nd time

Tens of thousands of Palestinians in Gaza flee for 2nd time in Israel-Hamas war

Israeli tanks penetrated deep into a central Gaza Strip town on Thursday, following days of relentless bombardment. It triggered a new exodus of tens of thousands of Palestinian families already displaced. Reports indicate that the tanks advanced from orchards on the eastern outskirts, with a Palestinian journalist. He was capturing images of their presence near a mosque in the built-up area of Bureij.

Further south, Israeli forces targeted the vicinity around a hospital in Khan Younis, the primary southern city in Gaza. Residents feared a potential new ground incursion into an area already densely populated with families who have been rendered homeless during the 12 weeks of the war.

Palestinian health authorities reported 210 confirmed deaths in the previous 24 hours. It is bringing the total death toll to 21,320 – a devastating toll representing nearly one percent of the enclave’s population. There are concerns that thousands more may be buried or lost in the ruins.

Despite calls from the United States to scale down the campaign, Israel has intensified its ground offensive in Gaza. The objective remains the destruction of the Hamas movement, which governs Gaza, following an earlier rampage by fighters through Israeli towns in October, resulting in the death of 1,200 people and the capture of 240 hostages.

The current focus of the conflict is central areas south of the wetlands that bisect Gaza, where Israeli forces have issued evacuation orders to civilians as their tanks advance. Tens of thousands of people from Nusseirat, Bureij, and Maghazi districts are fleeing towards the overwhelmed city of Deir al-Balah along the Mediterranean coast. Makeshift camps with hastily constructed tents are now housing the displaced population.

UNRWA

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) operating in Gaza highlighted the dire situation, stating on social media that “over 150,000 people – young children, women carrying babies, people with disabilities & the elderly – have nowhere to go.”

In Bureij, heavy fighting unfolded as Israeli tanks pushed in from the north and east, leading to a forced displacement of residents. One displaced individual, Omar, expressed the harsh reality: “That moment has come. I wished it would never happen, but it seems displacement is a must.”

With Khan Younis under heavy bombardment, residents believe that Israeli forces are attempting to provoke a new exodus ahead of a potential further ground assault on the city. The Palestinian Red Crescent reported casualties near Al-Amal hospital. It is raising concerns about the impact on healthcare infrastructure amid the escalating violence.

As the conflict intensifies, the international community faces renewed calls to address the humanitarian crisis. They find a sustainable solution to end the protracted and devastating war in Gaza.

Sumann Senguptaa

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