Gaza War: Israel Tells ‘All Gaza City Residents’ to Leave

Comment on the photo, Israeli military operations continue in Gaza City as ceasefire talks resume

  • author, Tom Bennett and Rushdi Abu Al-Auf
  • Role, BBC News in London and Istanbul

The Israeli occupation army asked all residents of Gaza City to evacuate south to the center of the Gaza Strip, amid intensified operations in the north.

The leaflets dropped from the planes included instructions to “all residents of Gaza City” to leave what it described as a “dangerous combat zone” via designated safe routes – two roads leading to shelters in Deir al-Balah and Zuweida.

The United Nations has expressed deep concern over the evacuation orders issued. This is the second time since the start of the war that the entire population of Gaza City has been asked to evacuate their homes.

Over the past two weeks, Israeli forces have reentered several areas where the military believes Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad fighters have regrouped since the beginning of the year.

Hamas said renewed Israeli activity in the city threatened to derail negotiations on a possible ceasefire and prisoner release, which resumed on Wednesday in Qatar. The talks are being attended by the intelligence chiefs of Egypt, the United States and Israel, as well as the prime minister of Qatar.

Hamas official Hussam Badran told AFP that Israel “is trying to pressure the negotiations by intensifying the bombing, displacement and committing massacres.”

‘I’m not leaving’

It is estimated that more than a quarter of a million people still live in Gaza City.

Some residents were seen heading south after the Israeli military dropped leaflets there urging them to leave, which an Israeli official later told the BBC was a recommendation rather than an instruction.

But others were not ready to leave.

“I will not leave Gaza” [City]”I will not make the stupid mistake that others have made. Israeli missiles do not differentiate between north and south,” Ibrahim al-Barbari, 47, a resident of the area, told the BBC.

He added, “If death is my fate and the fate of my children, then we will die with honor and dignity in our homes.”

The Palestinian Red Crescent Society said it had received calls from some citizens who were unable to leave their homes due to the intensity of the shelling.

“Information coming from Gaza City indicates that the population is living in tragic conditions. [Israeli] She added that “the occupation forces continue to bomb residential neighborhoods and displace citizens from their homes and shelters.”

In a statement earlier on Wednesday, the Israel Defense Forces said its forces “carried out a counter-terrorism operation” overnight against Hamas and Islamic Jihad fighters who were operating inside the headquarters of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) in Gaza City.

She added that the forces opened “a designated corridor to facilitate the evacuation of civilians” from the area before entering the building and “eliminating the terrorists in close combat”.

The Israeli occupation army also said that it killed dozens of fighters in the Shujaiya neighborhood east of Gaza City and dismantled an underground tunnel during the past day.

Speaking to the Israeli parliament on Wednesday, Defence Minister Yoav Galant said 60% of Hamas fighters had been killed or wounded since the start of the Israeli offensive. The BBC has not been able to independently verify these figures.

On Tuesday, the UN Human Rights Office announced that He said he was “astonished.” Based on IDF orders calling on residents to evacuate to “areas where Israeli military operations are taking place and where civilians continue to be killed and injured.”

She also warned that the Deir al-Balah area is already severely overcrowded with Palestinians displaced from other areas of Gaza, that its infrastructure is weak and that access to humanitarian aid is limited.

The Israeli military launched a campaign in Gaza to destroy Hamas in response to an unprecedented attack on southern Israel on October 7, in which some 1,200 people were killed and 251 others were kidnapped.

According to the Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza, more than 38,295 people have been killed in Gaza since then. The ministry’s figures do not distinguish between civilians and combatants, but it said 14,680 of the dead were children, women and the elderly by the end of April.

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