Palestinian Civilian Exodus Grows As Israeli Forces Enter Northern Gaza

Palestinian Civilian Exodus Grows As Israeli Forces Enter Northern Gaza

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The exodus of Palestinian civilians from northern Gaza has surged as Israeli regime’s ground forces moved in, accompanied by relentless air and artillery strikes.

On Tuesday, approximately 15,000 people fled north Gaza, a sharp increase from the 5,000 who left on Monday and the 2,000 on Sunday, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

The majority of those fleeing are children, the elderly, and individuals with disabilities. Civilians are making their escape during a daily four-hour window permitted by the Israeli regime military. Nevertheless, tens of thousands of Palestinian civilians remain in the combat zone, with many seeking shelter in hospitals or UN schools.

Alarming reports from UN monitors indicate that about 1.5 million of Gaza's 2.3 million residents have been displaced due to the ongoing conflict.

The Israeli army's Arabic spokesperson, Avichay Adraee, has announced that passage through Salah al-Din Street in the northern Gaza region will be allowed from 10 am to 2 pm. This statement was made at 11:40 am in Gaza. Adraee called on people to "take advantage" of this opportunity and move beyond Wadi Gaza.

However, it is essential to note that the Israeli army has frequently attacked the route to the south while urging Palestinians to leave northern Gaza.

Meanwhile, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) expressed shock and concern over an attack on its convoy on Tuesday. ICRC spokesperson Alyona Synenko emphasized that humanitarian and medical convoys, facilities, and personnel are protected under international humanitarian law. She stressed the importance of distinguishing civilian facilities, essential infrastructure, and civilians from military objects and personnel. The ICRC has been actively advocating for the respect of international humanitarian law amid the conflict's staggering humanitarian toll.

The ICRC convoy, carrying "lifesaving medical supplies to health facilities," was targeted, resulting in damage to two trucks and a driver sustaining minor injuries.

Speaking from occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds, Synenko shared accounts from her colleagues in Gaza, describing the situation as "extremely heartbreaking." She recounted their encounters with thousands of people on the road, including handicapped individuals in wheelchairs, the elderly, and children, all expressing desperation. They sought safety, shelter, food, and water, but humanitarian personnel struggled to provide adequate responses to meet these overwhelming needs.

In a sobering statistic, the Palestinian health ministry in Gaza reports that Israeli airstrikes have claimed the lives of 10,569 people in the besieged strip since October 7, with 4,324 of the victims being children.

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