Wednesday, February 28, 2024

The Israeli army besieged Khan Younis amid violent clashes

Date:

Today (Wednesday), the Israeli army has besieged the large city of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, where heavy clashes have been taking place on the ground since the start of the war two months ago, between it and the Hamas movement.

Thousands of civilians were seen fleeing the area on foot, on motorcycles and in vehicles loaded with their belongings. They are now trapped near the border with Egypt in an area that is shrinking by the day and face a catastrophic humanitarian situation, according to Agence France-Presse.

Palestinians leaving Khan Younis arrived in Rafah in the south, near Gaza’s border with Egypt (AFP).

The Israeli ground offensive began on October 27 against Hamas in the northern Gaza Strip, but the Israeli military expanded the scope of its operations to cover the entire area two months after the start of the war. Hamas movement into Israel on October 7.

Israeli army chief Herzey Halevi said in a statement carried by Agence France-Presse: “Our forces have besieged Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip. We have tightened security in many of Hamas’ strongholds in the northern Gaza Strip and are now carrying out operations against its strongholds in the south.

Israeli bombardment of southern Gaza continues as war enters its second month (AFP)

He added: “Our forces have found weapons in almost all buildings and houses and terrorists in many houses and are confronting them.”

Sources from the Palestinian Hamas and Islamic Jihad movements told Agence France-Presse that they are facing violent clashes with Israeli forces to prevent access to Khan Younis and areas east of the city, as well as nearby refugee camps.

Hamas state media reported that “violent artillery attacks on civilian homes in the cities of Qusa, Abasan, al-Qarara and Bani Suhaila, east of Khan Yunis, left dozens of martyrs and wounded.”

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Bombs were also dropped in other parts of the Gaza Strip.

A Palestinian woman in the city of Khan Younis under Israeli bombardment (Reuters)

The Ministry of Health in the government of Hamas announced that “6 martyrs and 14 others were injured in an Israeli airstrike on two houses in the Nusirat camp in the central Gaza Strip, in addition to killing the director of Gusa. His son was also killed in an Israeli attack on his home, Ramez al-Najjar, a government hospital.”

“We have no shelter.”

The Israeli military confirmed in a statement that it had killed “most senior leaders” in the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas. , specifically referring to the five leaders, said it had been “disbanded”.

Since fighting resumed on December 1 after a seven-day ceasefire, hundreds of thousands of people who had taken refuge in the south of the Gaza Strip have been forced to flee again to escape the bombing and the fighting that is spreading south. .

As Khan left Yunis en route to Rafah on the Egyptian border, Umm Mahmoud told Agence France-Presse: “Here we are wandering in God’s vast lands seeking refuge. “Looks like we have nowhere to shelter.”

Martin Griffiths, the United Nations humanitarian coordinator, said in a statement: “There is no safe place in Gaza. Not hospitals, shelters, refugee camps, children, medical staff or humanitarian workers. “This blatant mockery of the foundations of humanity must stop.”

Palestinian children in the city of Khan Younis under Israeli bombardment (Reuters)

The World Food Program stressed that the delivery of humanitarian aid in the Gaza Strip is “almost impossible” and that a resumption of fighting would “intensify the catastrophic humanitarian crisis that threatens the civilian population.”

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Assisted Interruption

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said that Rafah has become the only area in the Gaza Strip where humanitarian aid is distributed in the least amount. Northern areas are not possible.

The Israeli army drops leaflets on Khan Younis daily, warning of imminent bombings and urging residents to evacuate their neighborhoods. However, the United Nations, which estimates that 28 percent of the Gaza Strip is covered by these orders, deems it “impossible” to establish safe zones for civilians, as defined by Israel.

On Tuesday, scenes of chaos were repeated at Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis, the largest hospital in the southern Gaza Strip, where patients are being treated on the ground. Video clips from Agence France-Presse showed the injured in ambulances, others in vehicles or being carried by their relatives.

The fighting in the Gaza Strip has displaced 1.9 million people, or 85 percent of the population, and more than half of their homes have been destroyed or damaged, according to the United Nations.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health reported that 16,248 people have been killed since the war began on October 7, and more than 70 percent of them were women and children. In Israel, Hamas attacks killed 1,200 people, most of them civilians, and Israeli officials.

Israel said 138 hostages taken to the Gaza Strip on the day of the attack were still being held after 105 hostages were released during the ceasefire, including 80 released in exchange for the release of 240 Palestinian prisoners by the Hebrew government.

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The army says 82 Israeli soldiers have been killed since the start of the war in Gaza.

Rolf Colon
Rolf Colon
"Creator. Award-winning problem solver. Music evangelist. Incurable introvert."

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