Israel and Hamas war: Israel orders new evacuation in Gaza City Rafah.

Rafah, Gaza Strip (APP) – Israel orders new evacuations. of Gaza The southern city of Rafah on Saturday forced tens of thousands more people to flee as it prepared to expand its military operation closer to the heavily populated central region, defying growing pressure from close ally the United States and other countries. .

Israel's military also said it was moving into an area of ​​devastated northern Gaza where it asserted the Hamas militant group had regrouped.

Israel has now evacuated the eastern third of Rafah, considered the last refuge in Gaza. The United Nations and others have warned that Israel's planned full-scale assault on Rafah would hamper humanitarian operations and cause a catastrophic increase in civilian casualties. The Rafah border is close to Egypt's main gateways, which have already been affected. Israeli soldiers has captured the Gaza side of the Rafah crossing.forcing it to close.

US President Joe Biden has said that he will not provide Israel with offensive weapons for Rafah. On Friday, the US said it was “reasonable”. There is evidence that Israel has violated international law. Protecting civilians by way of its war against Hamas — the strongest statement the Biden administration has ever made on the issue.

In response to the U.S. report, Ofir Falk, a foreign policy adviser to the Israeli prime minister, told the AP that Israel abides by the laws of armed conflict and that the military takes extensive measures to prevent civilian casualties. It also includes making people aware of military operations. Phone calls and text messages.

more than that 1.4 million Palestinians – Half of Gaza's population – are taking refuge in Rafah, mostly after fleeing Israeli aggression elsewhere. The evacuations are forcing people to return to the north, where previous Israeli attacks have devastated the area. Aid agencies estimated that 110,000 had done so before Saturday's order, adding another 40,000.

“What should we do here? Do we wait until we all die on top of each other? So we decided to leave. It's better,” Rafah resident Hanan al-Satari said as people piled up mattresses. , rushed to load water tanks and other supplies onto vehicles.

The Israeli army has no safe zone in Gaza. They target everything,” said Abu Youssef al-Dairi, who was previously displaced from Gaza City.

Many people have been displaced multiple times, and there are few places left to go. Earlier in the week, some people fleeing the fighting set up new tent camps in the city of Khan Yunis – which was destroyed in an earlier Israeli attack – and the city of Deir al-Balah, straining infrastructure.

Some Palestinians have been sent by Israel to humanitarian safe zones along the Mawasi coastal strip in Gaza. But the zone is already overcrowded with about 450,000 people in camps littered with rubbish and lacking basic facilities.

Georgios Petropoulos, a UN humanitarian official in Rafah, said aid workers had no equipment to help people in the new locations. “We just don't have any tents, we don't have blankets, we don't have beds, we don't have anything that you would expect a population to get from the humanitarian system,” he said.

Petropoulos said the World Food Program had warned it would run out of food to distribute in southern Gaza by Saturday. Aid groups have said that fuel will also run out soon, forcing hospitals to shut down critical operations and halting aid trucks in southern and central Gaza.

Heavy fighting is also ongoing in northern Gaza, where Hamas appears to have regrouped in an area where Israel has launched attacks. Israeli army spokesman Avichay Adraee told Palestinians in Jabalia and Beit Lahiya and surrounding areas to leave their homes and move to shelters west of Gaza City, warning that people were in a “dangerous war zone” and Israel. “Will attack with great force.”

Northern Gaza was the first target of the ground offensive launched after Hamas and other militants attacked southern Israel on October 7, killing about 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and taking 250 hostages. They still have about 100 prisoners and the remains of over 30.

Israel said late last year that it had eliminated Hamas in most of northern Gaza.

The UN humanitarian agency in Gaza, known as UNRWA, said evacuation orders in Rafah and Jabalia have affected about 300,000 people, but the number could be higher because it is very under construction. There are developed areas.

“We are deeply concerned that these evacuation orders have come from both central Rafah and Jabalia,” UNRWA spokeswoman in Rafah, Louise Wattridge, told The Associated Press.

More than 34,800 Palestinians, mostly women and children, have been killed in Israeli bombing and ground operations, according to Gaza's health ministry, which does not distinguish between civilians and fighters in its figures. Israel blames Hamas for the civilian deaths and accuses it of infiltrating densely populated residential areas.

At least 19 people, including eight women and eight children, were killed in central Gaza overnight in attacks targeting the areas of Zawayda, Maghazi and Deir al-Balah, according to a journalist from al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital and AP in Deir al-Balah. The corpses

Another round of ceasefire talks in Cairo ended earlier this week without progress.


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Mednik reported from Tel Aviv and Magdi from Cairo. Contributed by Jack Jeffery in Jerusalem.


Follow AP's coverage of the battle.

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