Israel attacks the Jabalia refugee camp, the largest in Gaza, for the second time | International

Israel attacks the Jabalia refugee camp, the largest in Gaza, for the second time | International
Israel attacks the Jabalia refugee camp, the largest in Gaza, for the second time | International

The most controversial edition of the Eurovision Song Contest had recently ended, marked by the presence of Israel in the middle of the war with Gaza, when that country’s army launched an attack on Jabalia in the early hours of Sunday morning. In this way, these occupation troops face the second battle for control of the largest refugee camp in Gaza. It also occurs on the day in which the number of deaths in that territory due to Israeli attacks during the current war has exceeded 35,000.

Hamas has managed to reorganize itself in an enclave located north of Gaza City that the Israeli authorities already considered subdued at the end of 2023 and where, supposedly, the armed wing of the fundamentalist group had been dismantled. As in previous days, the group has made public recordings in which it reports on the confrontations with the enemy.

Yabalia is the largest of the eight refugee camps that the UN organized in the Strip to accommodate people displaced from different Palestinian towns by the Israelis during the War of Independence in 1948. In a space of 1.4 square kilometers, there lived just over 100,000 people until the war began on October 7. The number of those who remain there today after repeated expulsion orders, more than seven months of bombings, raids and destruction is uncertain.

After 76 years since it was established, the Jabalia camp has become, with houses replacing tents, a neighborhood north of Gaza City where a large part of the population already needed help before the current conflict. . In total, just over 89,000 of their neighbors benefited from the food aid program of UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees. Something similar happens with the Zeitun neighborhood of the capital of the Strip, where the soldiers have had to return in a new raid due to the appearance of a resistance that they had considered liquidated.

At a critical moment in bilateral relations between Israel and the United States, that country’s Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, has reminded his allies that he needs to design a plan to make it possible to govern in the post-war period. If not, there will be “a vacuum that will probably be filled by chaos, anarchy and, ultimately, by Hamas again,” he said in an interview with CBS. The head of diplomacy also charged against the Jewish State for not having a plan to safeguard the hundreds of thousands of displaced people crowded into southern Gaza.

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After ordering the expulsion of the residents of Jabalia, “the army undertook an operation during the night (from Saturday to Sunday) on intelligence information regarding Hamas’ attempts to rebuild its terrorist infrastructure and its operations in the area,” he explained. an army statement published on the social network X (formerly Twitter). “Prior to the entry of troops, Israeli Air Force fighter jets and additional aircraft attacked some 30 terrorist targets in the area and eliminated several Hamas terrorists,” the text added. Similar movements continue in Zeitun, according to the same source, referring to “hand-to-hand combat” as well as air attacks in that neighborhood.

Throughout the early hours of Sunday, Israeli tanks moved into Jabalia after crossing the Saladin Highway, which runs through the Strip from north to south, as fighting intensified between elements of Hamas and the Israeli army, according to the Al Jazeera network. “It has been a very difficult night,” Abdel-Kareem Radwan, a 48-year-old Palestinian from Jabalia, told the same media. He noted that since Saturday afternoon there had been intense shelling. “This is crazy”.

“I am deeply shocked by the rapid deterioration of the situation in Gaza as Israeli forces intensify airstrikes in Jabalia and Beit Lahia, in the north, and in areas of central Gaza,” he denounced in a video published through on social networks the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk, who has also censored the launch of rockets into Israeli territory.

On Friday, Israel issued orders for the forced evacuation of the population of Jabalia and the neighboring towns of Beit Lahia and Beit Hanun, also in the north of the Strip. They join those also issued against the population settled in Rafah, in the far south, where they are also carrying out a ground incursion. There, the army reported that they are continuing with what they call “precision operations” to defeat Hamas and bring back the hostages. It is estimated that around 130 of the 250 captured on October 7 are still there, although around thirty are already dead.

The promised entry of the military into Rafah with blood and fire, advised against by the international community and humanitarian organizations, has not occurred, although they do maintain air attacks on the civilian population contrary to what the army claims. These operations, the military statement adds, are focused on achieving “tactical advances” but “avoiding densely populated areas.” As in the first weeks of the conflict, internet communications were interrupted, according to the Palestinian company Paltel.

“Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians are fleeing Rafah after the Israeli army ordered new evacuations in the southern part of the city, causing a new mass displacement of an already deeply traumatized population,” laments Volker Türk. These orders for the expulsion of citizens “affect close to a million people in Rafah. Where are they supposed to go? There is no safe place in Gaza,” reiterates the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, while insisting that a large-scale invasion of Israeli troops in that town “cannot occur.”

“Again and again, the exodus continues,” laments Philippe Lazzarini, head of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA), who emphasizes that Israeli evacuation orders are a euphemism that hides forced displacements just like the qualified ones. as safe zones, which, remember, do not exist in the entire Strip. “Since the war began, most people in Gaza have moved several times, on average once a month” and some “have to stay in bombed-out shelters.”

The official list of deaths in Gaza during the Israeli attacks in the current conflict reached 35,034 this Sunday, of which some 15,000 are minors, according to data from the Ministry of Health, in the hands of Hamas.

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