Waving white flags and with their arms raised, Palestinian families fled before the tanks waiting to assault Gaza City in the next phase of the war that, according to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, will give Israel “indefinite” control of the territory. besieged
This Tuesday, the Israeli Army gave civilians inside the surrounded town a period of four hours to leave, while its forces prepare to take the largest city in the strip.
Men, women and children, some carrying their belongings on donkeys, fled their homes, leaving Israeli troops behind to leave the city.
In a message in Arabic, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said it would allow people to leave from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. local time, and posted a video of dozens of people along a road major.
One of the residents, Adam Fayez Zeyara, posted online that Tuesday’s walk was the most dangerous of his life. “We saw the tanks from point-blank range. We saw parts of decomposed bodies. “We saw death.”
Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant has said that Israeli forces are operating “in the heart of Gaza City,” which he describes as “the largest terrorist base ever built.”
Gallant has also stated that the top leader of Hamas in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, is incommunicado in his bunker, and added that the militia leader is “isolated from his environment, [y] their chain of command is weakening.”
Hundreds of thousands of people are feared still trapped in the city. Hamas, which has long used the tactic of hiding among civilians, has been accused of preventing people from leaving his homes.
Israel has repeatedly told civilians to move south “for their own safety,” but has continued bombing the entire strip. This Tuesday, it attacked the southern city of Khan Younis, where 23 people died, according to Palestinian health authorities.
A man rescued from the rubble of a house where doctors said 11 people had died said Israel will learn “a great lesson.” “This is the bravery of the so-called Israel, they show their strength and their power against civilians, babies inside, children inside and the elderly.”
Nearly a month after Israel imposed a “total siege” on Gaza, the World Health Organization says medical supplies are so scarce that doctors are performing operations, including amputations, without anesthesia. UN Secretary-General António Guterres has declared that Gaza is becoming a “children’s graveyard” and has called for an urgent ceasefire.
Day of mourning in Israel
Meanwhile, a minute of silence was observed in Israel on Tuesday to mark the month since the Hamas attack that killed 1,400 people in towns near the border and led to the current bombing of Gaza. The night before, a vigil was held in Jerusalem, in which a candle was lit for each victim.
Relatives of the deceased gathered at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, where prayers were held to commemorate the first month of mourning, following Jewish tradition. “We have no other way to commemorate them than with prayers, lighting candles and keeping them in our hearts,” says Yossi Rivlin, whose two brothers died in the music festival massacre during the Hamas attack.
Standing before a giant Israeli flag, Israeli Army cantor Shai Abramson gave a prayer for the dead, modified to include a blessing for deceased security forces personnel.
Israeli bombings in retaliation for the Hamas raid, in which fighters also took 240 hostages, have killed more than 10,300 people, including about 4,200 children, according to Palestinian health authorities.
The US rejects Israel’s occupation of Gaza
Netanyahu, in remarks that give the clearest indication yet that Israel plans to maintain tight control over the strip, home to 2.3 million Palestinians, has said his country will assume “overall responsibility for the security” of Gaza.
Asked who should “rule” Gaza once the fighting is over, he told ABC News in an interview broadcast Monday night: “Those who do not want to follow the path of Hamas.” And he added: “Israel will have for an indefinite period… the overall responsibility for security because we have seen what happens when we do not have that responsibility for security.”
The White House reiterated this Tuesday that President Joe Biden does not support an Israeli reoccupation of the Gaza Strip after the war. “The president continues to believe that a reoccupation of Gaza by Israeli forces is not good,” White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told CNN. “It is not good for Israel; It is not good for the Israeli people.”
Kirby added that there needed to be a “healthy set of conversations about what Gaza will be like after the conflict and what governance is like” and that he will leave it to Netanyahu to clarify what he meant by “indefinite.”
The UN and other world bodies, including the EU, consider Gaza to be occupied despite Israel withdrawing its forces from the interior of the strip in 2005, as Israel has maintained effective control over the small territory by land, sea and air.
“A month of slaughter”
Netanyahu has also said he will consider “small tactical pauses” of one hour in the fighting to allow aid in or hostages out of Gaza, but again rejected calls for a ceasefire.
Both Israel and Hamas have rejected growing calls to end the fighting. Israel claims the hostages must be freed first, while Hamas says it will not release them or stop the fighting while Gaza is under attack.
Human rights groups and UN experts have accused both sides of war crimes. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk, began a five-day visit to the Middle East on Tuesday, although he had not yet obtained permission from Israel to visit the area.
“It has been an entire month of carnage, of incessant suffering, bloodshed, destruction, indignation and despair,” Türk says in a statement. “Human rights violations are at the root of this escalation and human rights play a central role in finding a way out of this maelstrom of pain.”
International organizations have stated that Gaza hospitals cannot cope with the wounded, and food and drinking water are running out, without aid deliveries being sufficient. “We need an immediate humanitarian ceasefire. It’s been 30 days now. It’s enough. “This must end now,” says a statement from the heads of several UN agencies.
The UN Security Council met behind closed doors on Monday. The 15-member body is still trying to agree a resolution after failing four times in two weeks. Diplomats say a key obstacle is whether to call for a ceasefire, cessation of hostilities or humanitarian pauses to allow aid access to Gaza.