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Heavy Fighting in Gaza Forces Thousands to Flee Again Amid Ongoing Conflict

ByAdmin

Jul 4, 2024
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Jakarta, Kowantaranews.com    -The Gaza Strip has been plunged into another wave of intense conflict as Israeli forces continue their offensive against Hamas. On July 3, 2024, the air was filled with the sounds of Apache helicopters and Israeli quadcopter drones flying above Gaza City’s Shujaiya district, accompanied by heavy gunfire echoing through the streets. The latest bout of violence comes in the wake of an Israeli army evacuation order, which has forced tens of thousands of Palestinians to once again abandon their homes in search of safety.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has firmly rejected a report from US media suggesting that his generals are advocating for a truce, even if Hamas remains undefeated. In a statement on Tuesday, Netanyahu stressed, “This will not happen.” He remains adamant that the military campaign will continue until all objectives are achieved, including the complete destruction of Hamas and the release of hostages held by Palestinian militants.

Military chief Herzi Halevi has reinforced Netanyahu’s stance, stating that Israel is engaged in a “long campaign” to dismantle Hamas in response to the group’s attack on October 7. The attack on southern Israel resulted in the deaths of 1,195 people, mostly civilians, and the kidnapping of 251 hostages. As of now, 116 hostages remain in Gaza, with 42 confirmed dead.

The United Nations has issued stark warnings about the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Gaza. The latest evacuation order, affecting areas near Khan Yunis and Rafah in the south, has caused immense distress among Palestinians. Stephane Dujarric, spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, noted that the order covers 117 square kilometers, or about a third of the Gaza Strip, making it the largest such order since the conflict began in October.

Sigrid Kaag, the UN humanitarian coordinator for Gaza, addressed the UN Security Council in New York, highlighting that 80 percent of Gaza’s population has now been displaced by the war. She emphasized the urgent need for more aid to reach the besieged territory and called for the reopening of crossings, particularly to southern Gaza, to prevent a humanitarian disaster. “Palestinian civilians in Gaza have been plunged into an abyss of suffering, their home lives shattered, their lives upended,” she said. “The war has not merely created the most profound of humanitarian crises. It has unleashed a maelstrom of human misery.”

In the midst of this dire situation, more than 150,000 people have contracted skin diseases due to the squalid living conditions, according to the World Health Organization. Wafaa Elwan, a Palestinian mother of seven now living in a tent city by the sea, described the harsh realities of their new life. “We sleep on the ground, on sand where worms come out underneath us,” she said. Her five-year-old son, who suffers from severe rashes and welts, “can’t sleep through the night because he can’t stop scratching his body.”

The relentless conflict has also led to significant casualties on both sides. The Israeli military has reported that its forces have struck over 50 terror infrastructure sites across Gaza in the past 24 hours. Ground troops have engaged in combat, eliminated militants, located tunnels, and seized weapons including AK-47 assault rifles. Despite the intense phase of the war supposedly winding down, Israeli forces have continued to conduct airstrikes and artillery fire, particularly targeting militants in the Shujaiya district.

The Gaza civil defense agency reported that seven people were killed when a strike hit a family house north of Gaza City. Another strike in the Al-Maghazi refugee camp in the central Deir Al-Balah area resulted in three deaths. Airstrikes also targeted homes in Rafah, according to Gaza’s government media office. These incidents underscore the continued peril faced by civilians caught in the crossfire.

Netanyahu’s hardline stance, supported by his coalition government including right-wing parties, remains unwavering. He has vowed not to succumb to what he terms the “winds of defeatism.” “The war will end once Israel achieves all of its objectives, including the destruction of Hamas and the release of all of our hostages,” he asserted. This determination indicates that the conflict is far from over, with significant challenges ahead for both sides.

Read More : Gaza Summer: Sewage, Garbage, and Health Risks in War-Torn Tent Camps

Read More : Israel Orders Evacuation of Khan Younis, Affecting 250,000 Palestinians Amid Intensifying Gaza Conflict

Read More : Head of Gaza’s Largest Hospital Released by Israel After Seven Months of Detention

As the situation in Gaza deteriorates further, international bodies and humanitarian organizations are grappling with how to provide aid and relief to the affected population. The UNRWA, the UN agency supporting Palestinian refugees, reported that 250,000 people have been impacted by the latest evacuation order. The agency is struggling to accommodate the massive influx of displaced individuals, many of whom are now living in overcrowded shelters under extremely poor conditions.

The international community has expressed deep concern over the escalating violence and the severe humanitarian crisis. Calls for a ceasefire and negotiations have grown louder, with many urging both sides to consider the devastating impact on civilians. However, with both the Israeli government and Hamas showing no signs of backing down, the prospect of a peaceful resolution remains uncertain.

In the meantime, the people of Gaza continue to endure unimaginable hardships. Families are torn apart, homes are destroyed, and basic necessities such as food, water, and medical supplies are in critically short supply. The resilience of the Palestinian people is being tested to its limits as they navigate the horrors of war and displacement.

The coming days and weeks will be crucial in determining the future of Gaza and its inhabitants. The international community’s response, along with the actions of the warring parties, will play a significant role in shaping the outcome of this devastating conflict. As the world watches, the hope for peace and stability remains a distant dream for many in the Gaza Strip. *Mukroni

Source arabnews.com

Photo Kowantaranews

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