A children, Mariam Othman, murdered by Israel in Gaza, Oct. 17, 2023. | Photo: X/ @Ncubekhan
Published 17 October 2023, Telesur
The Israel-Gaza conflict, now entered its eleventh day, has killed over 4,000 people on both sides.
In an early weekday morning, hundreds of displaced Palestinians crowded outside a mosque on the main street of Rafah, as it was one of the very few places in the southern Gazan city that could provide electricity and clean water in a time of war.
Having just fled from northern Gaza, amid continued power outages and network faults, they were waiting to get cell phones charged to stay in contact with loved ones.
“We left everything behind, our house, our memories… to escape the imminent threat of death,” said Imad Sayyidam, whose family fled from the northern city of Beit Lahia.
As the war between Israel and Hamas entered the second week, people in northern Gaza, on caravans or by foot, continued to pour into the south, with the United Nations estimating the number of internally displaced at hundreds of thousands.
"Don’t dare say Israel is not responsible for the bombs."
Palestinian envoy to the United Nations Riyad Mansour addressed the targeting of civilians in Palestine’s Gaza during a UN Security Council session, calling it a breach of international law pic.twitter.com/9JrEYf4VnS
— TRT World (@trtworld) October 17, 2023
According to Sayyidam, his family had to sleep outdoors in Rafah before securing a place in one of the UN-run shelter camps packed with families newly displaced in the war.
“The shelter’s bathrooms have no water, so we are here at the mosque to use its bathrooms and charge our phones, but those services seem to be running out,” he added.
Under heavy Israeli bombardment and a possible ground offensive, which could happen any time soon, to leave or to stay has become a question of survival for northern Gazans.
The Israeli army repeatedly urged residents and hospitals in northern Gaza to evacuate southward. But for many residents, especially hospitalized patients, relocation is impossible due to the massive destruction of infrastructure in the ongoing airstrikes.
Sahad Ahmed, her husband, and children fled from a coastal refugee camp near the Gaza City. She described the situation in the camp as “very dangerous.” However, several members of her extended family decided to stay there.
🇮🇱🇵🇸 Doctors under threat of Israeli airstrikes in Gaza refuse to evacuate and leave critically ill infants behind.
“If you want to kill us, kill us while we continue working here. We will not leave.”
— Jackson Hinkle 🇺🇸 (@jacksonhinklle) October 17, 2023
In a courtyard of the Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis, conversations among the displaced dwell between what has already been lost and what may be further deprived in the future.
Some talked about their homes and hard-earned possessions that were left abandoned, or a horrendous day when a family member was killed in a strike.
Others discussed the timing and ramifications of a possible Israeli invasion of Gaza City, fearing that the besieged enclave would be plunged into the calamity of a protracted conflict.
“This war is more horrific than the previous ones. Many of our grandparents and friends have been martyred or injured. The Israelis destroyed our home and the (refugee) camp. There’s nothing left for them to destroy in Gaza,” said Abu Iyad, who fled the Gazan city of Jabalia.
— Quds News Network (@QudsNen) October 17, 2023
According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, prior to Israel’s demand for the evacuation of citizens from the northern Gaza Strip on Oct. 13, more than 400,000 Palestinians had been internally displaced in Gaza due to the conflict.
The Israeli military said that at least 199 hostages were held in Gaza, while Hamas claimed that there were 200 to 250 Israeli captives in Gaza since October 7.
The ongoing Israel-Gaza conflict, now entered its eleventh day, has killed more than 4,000 people on both sides and wounded even more. Sahar Ahmed, a 35-year-old woman from the city of Gaza, recounted her decision to move south.
“I left my house after many neighboring houses were bombed … fifty meters stood between my house and one of my neighbor’s that was bombed. The Israelis forced us to leave, destroying our lives and the future of our children,” she said.
#FromTheSouth News Bits | Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi urged the international community to assume its responsibilities in the face of the serious humanitarian crisis faced by Palestinians in the Gaza Strip after 10 days of Israeli bombing. pic.twitter.com/u9LJb2Ft60
— teleSUR English (@telesurenglish) October 16, 2023
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