top
Palestine
Palestine
Indybay
Indybay
Indybay
Regions
Indybay Regions North Coast Central Valley North Bay East Bay South Bay San Francisco Peninsula Santa Cruz IMC - Independent Media Center for the Monterey Bay Area North Coast Central Valley North Bay East Bay South Bay San Francisco Peninsula Santa Cruz IMC - Independent Media Center for the Monterey Bay Area California United States International Americas Haiti Iraq Palestine Afghanistan
Topics
Newswire
Features
From the Open-Publishing Calendar
From the Open-Publishing Newswire
Indybay Feature

Israel intensifies Rafah offensive and enters the north of the Gaza Strip

by The Guardian, UK
The Israeli offensive has caused massive damage to schools, homes, communication and energy systems, roads and much more, according to Oxfam, the UK-based aid organization. The destruction of key water and sanitation infrastructure by Israeli forces, as well as overcrowding in camps, malnutrition and summer heat, are bringing Gaza to the brink of a deadly epidemic.
Israel intensifies Rafah offensive and enters the north of the Gaza Strip
Politics Israeli army expels 500,000 people from Rafah

On the run The most intense fighting in weeks is raging in the war zone. International aid organizations such as Oxfam are forced to suspend some of their work and are now also warning that Palestinians are at risk of a deadly epidemic
by Jason Burke, Malak A Tantesh
The Guardian, UK
[This article posted on 5/16/2024 is translated from the German on the Internet, https://www.freitag.de/autoren/the-guardian/gaza-die-israelische-armee-vertreibt-500-000-menschen-aus-rafah.]

Israeli troops have continued their offensives across the Gaza Strip, resorting to tank fire, artillery bombardment and airstrikes against Hamas fighters. The fighting is the most intense in weeks.

For the south of the heavily damaged territory, eyewitnesses report helicopter attacks and street battles in Rafah as the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) try to consolidate their control over the neighborhoods east of the strategic Salah al-Din road.
Roads to the north and west have been clogged for days

In the north, the IDF once again advanced towards Jabaliya and Beit Lahiya, both areas where fierce battles were fought at the beginning of the seven-month war. It is estimated that up to 500,000 people have fled Rafah since the IDF ordered them to leave the area before the first attacks around and in the city a week ago. Since then, the roads to the north and west have been clogged with cars, trucks, trolleys and pony carts loaded with people and their belongings.

The fighting has forced major aid organizations to suspend or curtail their activities throughout the Gaza Strip as shortages of fuel, food and clean water become more acute. The level of risk to aid workers in Gaza was again highlighted when a UN vehicle was hit on its way to a hospital in Gaza.

Benjamin Netanyahu took part in a ceremony in Jerusalem earlier this week to commemorate the fallen Israeli soldiers and said that the war against Hamas was an existential struggle. “It's either us or them - Israel or the monsters of Hamas. It is about existence, freedom, security and prosperity or annihilation, massacre, rape and enslavement. We are determined to win this battle.”
Tank shells hit the center of the Jabaliya refugee camp

Israel has described its recent return to the north, from where it withdrew most of its troops five months ago, as part of a “cleansing phase” of the war to prevent the return of fighters. It said that such operations had always been part of its strategy.

Analysts, however, emphasize that the new battles underline the failure of the IDF to secure a large part of the Gaza Strip. This conclusion must be drawn after a campaign that has led to massive destruction, the displacement of around two million people and the deaths of more than 35,000.

In the village of Jabaliya, residents fled their homes through the rubble-strewn streets with bags full of belongings. In the center of the refugee camp there, tank shells had hit and houses had been destroyed by air strikes, it was said.

“We don't know where to go. We were driven from one place to the next ... We are running through the streets. I saw it with my own eyes. I saw the tank and the bulldozers. They are in this street,” said one woman.


Netanyahu has since declared that Rafah is Hamas' last stronghold and that Israel can only achieve its war aims - defined as destroying the militant Islamist organization - by killing militants and leaders in the city and ensuring that there is no further threat to Israel from Gaza and a return of hostages.

In any case, the attack on Rafah has strained relations between Israel and the US, its strongest ally. Washington has repeatedly stated that Israel must not attack Rafah without a plan to protect the civilian population, which it has yet to see. On Monday, US Deputy Secretary of State Kurt Campbell said the Biden administration did not believe it was likely or possible that Israel would win a “total victory” in the battle with Hamas in Gaza. “In some respects, we're arguing about what the theory of victory is,” Campbell said, adding, “This is very similar to the situations we found ourselves in after September 11, 2001.”
Gaza on the brink of a deadly epidemic

The Israeli offensive has caused massive damage to schools, homes, communication and energy systems, roads and much more, according to Oxfam, the UK-based aid organization. The destruction of key water and sanitation infrastructure by Israeli forces, as well as overcrowding in camps, malnutrition and summer heat, are bringing Gaza to the brink of a deadly epidemic, it said. “The situation is desperate because so many people are forced to endure inhumane and unsanitary conditions caused by the ongoing Israeli bombardment,” said Sally Abi Khalil, Oxfam's Middle East director.

More articles on the topic
Joe Biden's administration is torn on the Gaza issue

The US and Joe Biden simply look weak when Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gives the impression that he can simply ignore concerns from Washington
By Konrad Ege

The pending agreement on a ceasefire in Gaza can only be concluded with Hamas. If Hamas continues to exist and is capable of acting, then Israel has not achieved its main war aim, or has not yet achieved it
By Lutz Herden

Hamas fighters only found out what was planned on the day of the attack on Israel

It was a small group of Hamas leaders in Gaza who spent two years preparing the operation that took place on October 7. According to various sources, neither the Hamas exile nor the Iranian authorities knew about it
By Jason Burke
The Guardian, UK

The site of Al-Mawasi, in the “extended humanitarian zone” designated by Israel as a destination for those leaving Rafah, is packed with tents and shelters. But there are limited sanitation facilities, minimal water supplies and too little food, say those displaced there, like 32-year-old Nasser Abu Shamala, who reached al-Mawasi from Rafah with his family last week. “There are no basic necessities, no water and only very scarce and very expensive food.”

Meanwhile, the crossing to Egypt at Rafah remains closed. At the same time, the fighting is making it very difficult for aid convoys to use the main supply route from Kerem Shalom in Israel.

We are 100% volunteer and depend on your participation to sustain our efforts!

Donate

$40.00 donated
in the past month

Get Involved

If you'd like to help with maintaining or developing the website, contact us.

Publish

Publish your stories and upcoming events on Indybay.

IMC Network