Home News They returned to northern Gaza, but were again ordered to evacuate

They returned to northern Gaza, but were again ordered to evacuate


Early in the war with Hamas, as Israeli forces advanced from the north to the south of the Gaza Strip, a Gaza City neighborhood called Shajaye stood out in the fighting. In December, nine soldiers were killed there in what the Israeli military called its deadliest day of the war.

Later, as Shajaye was ravaged and Gaza City seemed to have calmed down, soldiers continued to advance, eventually bringing the fighting to Rafah, Gaza’s southernmost city, known as Hamas’ last major stronghold. Palestinian civilians who had fled the fighting in Gaza City began to return home.

On Thursday, they were on the run again.

Palestinian officials and residents reported heavy attacks that left many dead and injured, prompting Israel to order residents of parts of eastern Gaza City to evacuate. Residents in the area said they were frantically trying to evacuate as explosions were heard around them. Palestinian officials said the attacks had hit Shajaye.

“We heard explosions from all directions,” said Mohammad al-Bahrawi, 65, who returned to his home in Shajaiya with his family a few months ago. He said people were fleeing “in droves.”

“I can’t believe there are so many people still staying in Shajaye,” Mr. Balawi said.

The Israeli military said it could not comment on the attack at this time. Israeli public broadcaster Kan reported that the military was conducting a ground operation to root out Hamas after intelligence showed the armed group had begun to reassert control of the area.

If confirmed, the operation would be part of a larger pattern of warfare by Israel, which has been working to achieve its stated goal: to eliminate Hamas, which organized and led the October 7 attack on Israeli territory that sparked the Gaza war.

The Israeli army has repeatedly discovered Return to parts of Gaza They have left before, especially in the north, as Hamas regrouped during the nine-month war. New, less intense phase.

Critics say Netanyahu’s failure to come up with a plan for governing Gaza after Hamas is defeated has led to growing frustration in Israel and in the international community.

Daniel Byman, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington think tank, said the key to defeating counterinsurgency can be summed up in one sentence: “Clear, hold, build.”

The Israelis “were thinking only about Day One — killing the bad guys — but not the next steps,” Mr. Byman said. “That would have been inexcusable even in October and November. Now, there are fewer and fewer excuses.”

Gaza health authorities said Thursday that 15 people were killed and dozens injured in Shajaye. Palestinian emergency services, the Civil Defence, said five houses were hit in Shajaye and another neighbourhood and a search was underway for missing people. The toll could not be independently verified.

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