Israel intensifies ground attack in southern Gaza in war against Hamas. Is anywhere safe in the besieged enclave? | Mint
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Business News/ News / World/  Israel intensifies ground attack in southern Gaza in war against Hamas. Is anywhere safe in the besieged enclave?
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Israel intensifies ground attack in southern Gaza in war against Hamas. Is anywhere safe in the besieged enclave?

Israel's Defense Forces have intensified their attack on Southern Gaza after peace talks fell through with Hamas fighters. Palestinians have questioned the Israeli decision to step up bombing in the besieged enclave’s south, which was declared a safe zone when the war began about two months ago.

Displaced Palestinians, who fled their houses due to Israeli strike, shelter in a camp in Rafah, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, in the southern Gaza Strip (REUTERS)Premium
Displaced Palestinians, who fled their houses due to Israeli strike, shelter in a camp in Rafah, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, in the southern Gaza Strip (REUTERS)

Is Israel manifesting another Nakba? As the ground offensive by Benjamin Netanyahu's Israel intensifies, this time on Southern Gaza, Palestinians ask ‘is anywhere safe?'

Israel's Defense Forces have intensified their attack on Southern Gaza after peace talks fell through with Hamas fighters. Palestinians have questioned the Israeli decision to step up bombing in the besieged enclave’s south, which was declared a safe zone when the war began about two months ago.

Israel promised vengeance after the Hamas armed group carried out a surprise attack on October 7 inside Israel, killing up to 1,200 people.

Israel published online map of Gaza for evacuation- but who has access?

The Israeli army published an online map of the Gaza Strip on Friday, dividing the enclave into more than 600 numbered blocks, Al JAzeera reported. The Israel army asked Palestinians in Gaza to identify the block corresponding with their area of residence and evacuate when ordered.

IDF military spokesperson Avichay Adraee posted warnings online, urging Palestinians to evacuate from about 20 areas zones in Gaza, with three arrows on a map, all pointing south indicating where people should go.

However, according to Palestinian telecoms company Paltel telecommunication services have been cut off in the Gaza Strip. Further Cybersecurity watchdog NetBlocks confirmed “near-total internet blackout". NetBlocks warned it would be “experienced as a total loss of communications by most residents". To top it off, Israel also cut electricity to the Gaza Strip

IDF distributed leaflets ordering evacuations are inconsistent with online warnings, which has confused the residents.

Palestinians displaced, another Nakba?

According to available reports, more than one million Palestinians have been displaced from northern Gaza since October 13, when the Israeli military ordered people to evacuate to the south on 24 hours’ notice.

About 958,000 displaced Palestinians were registered in 99 UNRWA shelters in the centre and south of Gaza, according to the United Nations humanitarian agency OCHA; 70 of these centres are in the southern cities of Rafah and Khan Younis. Another 191,000 were estimated to be in informal collective shelters: 124 public schools, hospitals, wedding halls, offices, and community centres. The rest were hosted by families, added OCHA.

Reports and analysts have suggested that Palestinians are being pushed to southern Gaza, despite this zone being declared safe in the start of the aggravated attack on Palestinians in Gaza sanctioned by Israel. 

The latest evacuation orders have asked Palestinians to move towards the Rafah crossing, in a way towards Egypt.  The idea was driving them out of Gaza, then bombard Gaza to root out Hamas. Will this be Israel's way of asserting power and authority over the Gaza Strip? PM Netanyahu has denied any such motives, however, it will be knows as tragic events unfold. 

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Published: 07 Dec 2023, 10:06 AM IST
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