Israel orders more evacuations in Rafah and increases the offensive in Gaza

Israel ordered yesterday, for the second time this week, the forced displacement of Palestinian civilians from Rafah, in an order that includes new areas in the east (the camps of Rafah and Shabura, and the neighborhoods of Adari and Geneina).

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
11 May 2024 Saturday 23:37
3 Reads
Israel orders more evacuations in Rafah and increases the offensive in Gaza

Israel ordered yesterday, for the second time this week, the forced displacement of Palestinian civilians from Rafah, in an order that includes new areas in the east (the camps of Rafah and Shabura, and the neighborhoods of Adari and Geneina). He has also ordered civilians to leave several neighborhoods and towns around Jabalia, in the north of the Strip, where according to Israeli sources Hamas is regrouping.

The Israelis are urging Palestinians to go to the “humanitarian area of ​​Al-Mawasi, a coastal area located south of the enclave. It is an area saturated with displaced people in tents, without drinking water or sanitation and barely without food. Some 300,000 Palestinians have fled Rafah since Monday, according to official Israeli sources.

UNRWA (the United Nations Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East), for its part, points out that 150,000 have left Rafah since the beginning of the week. "Everywhere you look, this morning in west Rafah, families are packing. The streets are significantly emptier," Louise Wateridge, spokesperson for UNRWA in Gaza, told X.

In this way, despite the international rejection of the entry of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) into Rafah and despite the fact that the United States threatens to stop the shipment of some type of weapons, Israel goes ahead with its operations and he is proceeding practically in his land invasion of this locality, which aims to be executed gradually rather than on a large scale. It would be, according to the term used by the Israeli war cabinet, a "measured offensive", which would not cause any discomfort beyond what it already causes in the United States Administration.

In fact, the State Department reported on Friday that "it is reasonable to estimate" that Israel has violated international humanitarian law in Gaza. Despite everything, this should not imply the withdrawal of military support to Israel, concludes the report, which finds no evidence of the aforementioned behavior.

The narrow margin in which President Joe Biden moves, due to the indignation that the situation causes in the Democratic ranks, has led this week to threaten to stop supplying certain types of ammunition, a decision that has caused astonishment in Israel, but not to its prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, who replied that Israel will move forward even if it is alone.

Israeli artillery continued to bombard the area yesterday, especially the vicinity of the border crossing between Rafah and Egypt. The bombings occur at a crucial moment, since the blockade by Israeli troops of this passage, through which the bulk of humanitarian aid circulated, has left the inhabitants of the strip in an extremely delicate situation. The UN and other agencies working on the ground maintain that the operation that the Israeli Government will carry out will represent a "colossal humanitarian catastrophe".

Despite the fact that the Netanyahu Government formally maintains its will not to close itself to negotiating a cease-fire with Hamas, the chances of a pact are practically nil at a time when the most ultra-religious sectors of the Executive (represented by Itamar Ben-Gvir and Bezalez Smotrich) are pressing not to close any type of agreement.

In this context, the military branch of Hamas released a video yesterday in which one of the hostages was shown in its hands accompanied by the messages "Time flies" and "Your Government lies". The hostage was identified as Nadav Popplewell, a 51-year-old Briton. Hamas has reported that he is dead.

On October 7, 2023, Hamas commandos infiltrated Israeli communities close to the Strip and murdered 1,170 people, mostly civilians. 250 people were also kidnapped, of which 128 would still remain captives of the Islamist militias. Israel's response to Gaza, in turn, has so far led to the death of 34,971 people, according to data provided by the Gaza Ministry of Health.