Gunshots towards them and bodies lying around them… the horrific journey of those fleeing from north to south Gaza
One of Gaza’s busiest roads has turned into a horrific route for Palestinians fleeing Israeli fighting and shelling, with civilians forced to pass Israeli tanks on foot or in donkey carts.
According to an Associated Press report, on their way south, these civilians raise their hands or wave white flags to overtake Israeli tanks along the four-lane highway.
Some reported that Israeli soldiers opened fire on them, while others said they encountered bodies strewn along the road.
Many civilians fled with only the clothes they were wearing, while some managed to transport their families, clothes and mattresses on donkey carts.
In the northern Gaza Strip, Israeli ground forces, supported by continuous airstrikes, have surrounded Gaza City, which it considers the center of Hamas rule, and Israel has also divided the strip into two halves. North and South, and sought to expel the Palestinians from the north with advancing forces.
Since the start of the war, the Israeli army has called on civilians to move south through the Salah al-Din road, which runs through the center of the besieged enclave, and which it says is a safe passage.
But tens of thousands of civilians remain in the north, many of them taking refuge in hospitals or UN facilities.
Those who remain in the north say overpopulation in the south, along with dwindling supplies of water and food, and continued Israeli airstrikes in supposedly safe areas, are discouraging them.
Some said fear of being betrayed on the journey south, after some fugitives confirmed they had been shot by Israeli soldiers, made them hesitate in making the decision to flee.
Yesterday (Monday), the spokesperson for the Ministry of Health in Gaza, Ashraf Al-Qudra, rejected Israeli offers to move through safe corridors, describing them as “nothing more than corridors of death”.
He added that the bodies had been lying on the road for days and called on the International Committee of the Red Cross to accompany local ambulances to recover the dead.
The Israeli army said its forces once came under attack by Hamas as they tried to temporarily clear the way for civilians. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu echoed these accusations in an interview with ABC News, broadcast last night (Monday).
“We are fighting a particularly brutal enemy,” Netanyahu said. They use civilians as human shields and, while we ask the Palestinian civilian population to leave the war zone, they prevent them by pointing guns.”
During the four-hour evacuation period on Sunday, fewer than 2,000 people fled, followed by about 5,000 on Monday, according to United Nations observers. Some of them came from Gaza City and the nearby Shati camp, and had fled Monday after heavy Israeli shelling the night before.
A young woman named Amal, who was part of a group of 17 people who fled the northern Gaza Strip on Monday, told the Associated Press that Israeli tanks fired near them, then soldiers ordered everyone to leave. raise your hands and white flags before allowing them to do so. ride.
Palestinian Nour Naji Abu Nasser (27 years old) arrived on Sunday in the city of Khan Yunis, in the southern Gaza Strip. He described his hours-long journey as “very scary”.
He explained: “They shot in the sand around us. They wanted to scare us,” she said, adding that she saw bodies lying along the road outside Gaza City.
According to United Nations data, the four-week war has led to the displacement of around 1.5 million people across Gaza.
The Israeli military said thousands of people responded to orders to move south, but U.N. humanitarian observers said thousands of displaced people had returned to their homes in the north due to ongoing shelling of Gaza and of the shortage of shelters in the south.
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) says more than 530,000 people are taking refuge in its facilities in southern Gaza and it is now unable to accommodate the new arrivals. The agency said many of the displaced have resorted to sleeping on the streets near U.N. shelters.