About 6,000 bombs have been dropped in the densely populated Gaza Strip in less than a week, decimating the coastal enclave and killing 500 children
Over one million Palestinians living in the northern Gaza Strip have until midnight on 13 October to make their way south as hundreds of thousands of Israeli troops are expected to storm the besieged enclave.
The order was relayed to UN officials in New York late on Thursday, as Tel Aviv has said fleeing Palestinians will not be allowed to return “until we say so.” Almost half a million Palestinians have already been displaced by the Israeli onslaught.
“The United Nations considers it impossible for such a movement to take place without devastating humanitarian consequences,” UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said about the order.
“This is chaos; no one understands what to do,” Inas Hamdan, an officer at the UN Palestinian Refugee Agency (UNRWA) in Gaza City, told AP.
“Forget about food, forget about electricity, forget about fuel. The only concern now is just if … you’re going to live,” said Nebal Farsakh, a spokesperson for the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS), adding that there is no way to mobilize wounded and elderly patients inside hospitals.
Hamas officials dismissed the orders, calling on Palestinians to “remain steadfast in your homes and to stand firm in the face of this disgusting psychological war waged by the occupation.”
“We affirm that all governorates of the Gaza Strip, whether north or south, are [active targets]. The process of displacement or departure from the north to the south is illogical and constitutes a threat to the lives of our honorable citizens,” officials in Gaza stressed.
Tel Aviv made the announcement as warplanes pounded the world’s largest open-air prison for the seventh consecutive night, destroying 750 targets and killing about 250 Palestinians in a single day in what is described as “collective punishment” for the historic Al-Aqsa Flood resistance operation.
As of Friday, the death toll of the Israeli blitz stands at over 1,500 Palestinians – a third of whom were children.
Although Israeli officials claim their indiscriminate bombing campaign hits only “terrorist” targets, the reality inside Gaza is the opposite: the bombs have destroyed entire residential neighborhoods, dozens of high-rise apartment buildings, schools, hospitals, and even Gaza’s complete stock of solar panels.
Furthermore, the attacks have failed to make any significant dent on Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) forces, who have operated underground for years.
Israel has also completely cut off electricity, water, food, and fuel for Gaza, exacerbating an already dire humanitarian crisis for the 2.3 million Palestinians trapped inside.
Human rights organizations on Thursday confirmed that the Israeli air force has also been using internationally banned white phosphorous bombs on Gaza’s civilian population.
“White phosphorus, which can be used either for marking, signaling, and obscuring, or as a weapon to set fires that burn people and objects, has a significant incendiary effect that can severely burn people and set structures, fields, and other civilian objects in the vicinity on fire,” Human Rights Watch said in a statement.
“The use of white phosphorus in Gaza, one of the most densely populated areas in the world, magnifies the risk to civilians and violates the international humanitarian law prohibition on putting civilians at unnecessary risk,” it added.
mforinocohttps://orinocotribune.com/author/mforinoco/November 29, 2023