GAZA CITY, Palestine
The displacement journey from northern part of the Gaza Strip to its south seems even more dangerous with completely destroyed neighborhoods and the stench of death spreading everywhere.
Palestinians recounted horror as they left their homes in the northern Gaza Strip to head to south as the Israeli army demanded.
For days, the Israeli army has repeatedly called on residents of Gaza City and the northern Gaza Strip to evacuate their homes despite international criticism.
More than 1 million people live in Gaza City and the northern Gaza Strip.
Many countries and Palestinian, Israeli and international human rights organizations criticized the Israeli evacuation calls.
The latest conflict began on Oct. 7 when Hamas initiated Operation Al-Aqsa Flood – a multi-pronged surprise attack including a barrage of rocket launches and infiltrations into Israel via land, sea and air.
Hamas said the operation was in retaliation for the storming of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem and Israeli settlers’ growing violence against Palestinians.
The Israeli military then launched Operation Swords of Iron against Hamas targets within the Gaza Strip.
Israel’s response has extended into cutting water and electricity supplies to Gaza, further worsening the living conditions in an area that endured a crippling siege since 2007.
“The Israeli occupation committed a massacre against three convoys of citizens who tried to reach south of the Gaza Valley following Israeli army demands,” Salama Marouf, head of the government media office in Gaza, told Anadolu last Friday.
“This massacre has left, to date, an initial toll of 70 dead, with most of them children and women, and more than 200 injuries,” he added.
The Palestinian Health Ministry in the Gaza Strip published “live scenes of the Israeli army targeting convoys of displaced people on the roads.”
It also shared pictures and videos of “ambulance crews being subjected to attacks.”
About 2.2 million Palestinians live in Gaza, under extreme living conditions as a result of an ongoing Israeli siege since Hamas won the Palestinian legislative elections in 2006.
“We miraculously survived an Israeli bombing targeting convoys of displaced people from Gaza City towards the center of the strip,” Sameh Ahed, a 44-year-old Palestinian, told Anadolu.
“Based on the army’s demands to evacuate the northern Gaza Strip, we carried what we could and decided to flee,” Ahed said.
“On the way, the army targeted the convoy, killing and wounding dozens,” he added, stressing “there is no safe place in the Gaza Strip."
Hind Al-Dali, 34, a resident of Gaza City, recounted her displacement with her family towards the center of the Gaza Strip.
“I’m in a state of constant terror,” she told Anadolu. “There is bombing everywhere.”
“We lost our loved ones,” Dali said. “Israel kills all over,” she added.
Mahmoud Mustafa, a 12-year-old Palestinian boy, also told Anadolu of his constant anxiety and fear amid Israeli aggression.
“I saw the Israeli bombing of homes and neighborhoods during my displacement,” he said.
“As we moved through the streets of the strip, many places were lifeless,” he added.
Mustafa lives with his family, displaced from Gaza City, in the Bureij refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip.
The displacement of thousands of Palestinians from the north of the Gaza Strip towards its center has exacerbated the humanitarian crisis and caused a shortage of water and food supplies, an Anadolu correspondent reported.
“I walked with my children the Dark Path of Exile this morning,” Palestinian blogger Samaher Al-Khazandar wrote on her Facebook page.
“We moved through side streets and witnessed with our own eyes the destruction that Israeli warplanes have caused,” she added.
Khazandar further said that “as we approached the safe zone in the Deir Al-Balah city, my family and I heard a bombing sound.”
“A raid on a house crowded with displaced people had just occurred,” Khazandar added.
Bassam Sami, a Palestinian, also wrote on his Facebook page the tragedy of losing his aunt as she was heading to Deir Al-Balah city.
“My aunt told me she wanted to move with her children to Deir al-Balah,” Sami said.
“She did not make it, she was killed,” he added.
*Writing by Ikram KouachiAnadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.