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Hundreds Of Palestinians Flee Israeli Strikes In Rafah: Witnesses

19.06.2024 19:42

Palestinians in Rafah seek safety in Khan Younis, central Gaza after deadly attacks.

Hundreds of Palestinians fled the Al Mawasi area in Rafah on Wednesday and headed to the western parts of Khan Younis and the central Gaza Strip, following Israeli attacks that resulted in casualties.

Witnesses told Anadolu that Palestinians began leaving the southern city in Gaza for Deir al-Balah in the central region and Khan Younis.

"They designated Al Mawasi as a safe zone, but the Israeli army targeted it, killing eight members of the Abu Amra family and injuring my family," Khaled Sheikh Eid, 41, described his ordeal to Anadolu as he was leaving.

"Last night, the army shelled and fired at the so-called safe zone," he added. "As a result, I decided to leave the area for another location to ensure our safety."

Ghassan Daher, 35, shared his similar experience with Anadolu.

"Last night, quadcopter drones fired at us, and the Israeli army targeted our tent, resulting in shrapnel injuries to me," he said. "Despite being labeled a safe zone, our region was attacked."

"We are now relocating to another area, hoping it will be safer since Israel targeted the Al Mawasi area in Rafah," he added.

The Israeli army has been directing Rafah's displaced residents toward the Al Mawasi area along the Mediterranean coast.

The area stretches 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) and 1 kilometer in width, from Deir al-Balah in the north to Khan Younis in the south.

It is largely open and non-residential, lacking essential infrastructure such as sewage systems, electricity lines and communication networks.

Additionally, displaced Gazans living in makeshift tents made of nylon and tattered fabric endure harsh conditions, with temperatures exceeding 30 degrees Celsius (86 Fahrenheit).

On May 6, the Israeli army launched a military operation in Rafah, ignoring international warnings about the effect on displaced residents. The following day, the military took control of the Rafah border crossing with Egypt.

Flouting a UN Security Council resolution demanding an immediate cease-fire, Israel has faced international condemnation amid its continued brutal offensive on Gaza since an Oct. 7 attack by Hamas.

Nearly 37,400 Palestinians have since been killed in Gaza, most of them women and children, and more than 85,400 others injured, according to local health authorities.

More than eight months into the Israeli war, vast tracts of Gaza lay in ruins amid a crippling blockade of food, clean water and medicine.

Israel is accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice, whose latest ruling ordered Tel Aviv to immediately halt its operation in Rafah, where more than 1 million Palestinians had sought refuge from the war before it was invaded on May 6.

*Writing by Mohammad Sio -

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