July 20, 2024

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New wave of evacuations in Gaza amid intensified bombing

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Palestinians fled from areas in Gaza City on Thursday following an Israeli evacuation order and intensified bombing. The Israeli military issued new evacuation orders for neighborhoods heavily targeted and largely emptied earlier in the conflict, including Shijaiyah and surrounding areas.

Um Atef, one of the displaced residents, described the chaotic scene: “The missiles reached us, and here we fled. Martyrs, there are martyrs, and houses were struck on top of their owners. We do not know where to go, I swear, we do not know where to go.”

Mahmoud Daher, another displaced person, recounted the sudden evacuation: “They started calling us and asked us to evacuate from East al-Tuffah and East al-Shijaiyah, and as you can see, we left. There were martyrs and injuries, and there were people trapped unable to leave. The martyrs from the morning were thrown away. No one is able to reach that area because it is dangerous.”

First responders from Gaza’s Civil Defense, part of the Hamas-run government, reported that airstrikes hit five homes, resulting in at least three deaths and six injuries. Rescuers continue to dig through the rubble in search of survivors.

The latest wave of bombing follows heavy attacks on Gaza City in the initial weeks of the conflict, which began with Hamas’ unexpected assault on Israel on October 7. Subsequently, Israel ordered the evacuation of all of northern Gaza, including Gaza City, the largest city in the territory.

Despite the evacuation orders, hundreds of thousands of people have remained in northern Gaza, even as Israeli troops have encircled and largely isolated the area. Videos shared by Shijaiyah residents showed large numbers of people fleeing the neighborhood on foot, carrying their belongings.

There has been no immediate update from Gaza’s Health Ministry, which monitors and reports on casualties from the ongoing conflict.

The humanitarian situation remains dire, with many families displaced and struggling to find safety amid the continuing violence.

By Agencies

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