Israeli airstrikes hit northern Gaza as Palestinians try to leave
About 2.3 million Palestinians are trapped in Gaza, facing a terrifying escalation of bloodshed and misery
Thousands of Palestinians have continued to leave northern Gaza and cram into already crowded schools, homes and makeshift shelters in the south, as Israeli airstrikes pound the blockaded strip ahead of an expected ground invasion, media reports said.
Foreign citizens may also be allowed to leave the enclave under a deal agreed by Egypt, Israel and the United States, senior Egyptian and US officials said.
About 2.3 million Palestinians are trapped in Gaza, facing a terrifying escalation of bloodshed and misery, after Israel sealed all crossings into its territory and Egypt reinforced it border crossing, saying it would not allow refugees to enter, The Guardian reported.
Food, fuel and water supplies were dwindling fast on Saturday after Israel cut all movement in and out of Gaza. The death toll from airstrikes, already at unprecedented levels, had reached more than 2,200. That included 724 children and 458 women, the Gaza health ministry said.
Israel has vowed to obliterate the Hamas militant group after its fighters broke through the hi-tech fence surrounding the strip and went on a murderous rampage.
Many residents cannot find transport, or cannot travel because they are old, sick, disabled, caring for someone with limited mobility, or fear they have nowhere to go. Gaza is already one of the world’s most densely populated places, with 2.3 million people living in a 365 sq km area, The Guardian reported.
Palestinians and some regional officials have said they fear Israel’s ultimate aim is not only to destroy Hamas, but to push Palestinian people out of Gaza. This would mirror the Nakba, the Arabic term for the forcible expulsion of about 750,000 Palestinians from what was previously British mandate-controlled Palestine during the creation of Israel in 1948.
King Abdullah of Jordan, which is next to the occupied West Bank, has warned “against any attempt to forcibly displace Palestinians from all Palestinian territories or cause their internal displacement”.