by Ruwaida Kamal Amer at +972 Magazine
The last days have been the hardest we have experienced since the war began, here in the southern Gaza city of Khan Younis. Until last Friday, this area was designated a “safe zone” — a farcical description considering the Israeli army has bombed the city non-stop, but one that nonetheless brought an influx of hundreds of thousands of displaced Palestinians from the northern parts of the Strip, which Israeli troops have directly occupied for more than a month. Now, the army’s invasion of southern Gaza is underway, and residents have nowhere to run.
Early Saturday, Israeli tanks entered the city of Deir al-Balah in the center of Gaza, cutting off Salah al-Din Road — the main highway that runs through the Strip from north to south. Heavy bombardment of parts of Khan Younis soon followed, including the destruction of six residential towers in Hamad Town. As I write this, Israel’s tanks are rolling into the outskirts of the city.
As soon as hostilities resumed on Friday following a seven-day lull, Israeli warplanes dropped leaflets warning residents of the eastern regions of Khan Younis to move to the center. This included thousands of terrified people seeking shelter in hospitals, universities, and schools managed by the government and the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), after the city’s population had swelled to triple its prewar size.
Soon after, the Israeli army began disseminating an…Continue Reading