IDF To Re-Invade Khan Younis, Issues New Evacuation Orders

July 2, 2024   |   Tags:
IDF To Re-Invade Khan Younis, Issues New Evacuation Orders

The Israeli army issued a new order for Palestinians to evacuate from the eastern portion of the southern Gaza Strip city of Khan Younis on Monday, suggesting a new offensive against the enclave is being prepared, after fresh rocket attacks from militants.

The military is reportedly focused on destroying a major rocket factory in the city which is oversee by Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ). The IDF is urgently warning residents in specified districts they must move into the Western part of the city, as well as al-Mawasi camp on the coast. designated a "humanitarian zone". Regional reports say at least 250,000 are directly impacted by the initial evacuation order.

The IDF had pulled out of Khan Younis in April, declaring military operations there complete, thus this would mark a re-invasion of the city akin to the limited operations still happening in the north upon the return of armed fighters to these areas. Monday saw some 20 rockets fired at IDF positions from Khan Younis, a first in many months.

Via Reuters

Already many of the over one million Palestinians who had been sheltering in Rafah before it came under Israel's offensive were again displaced to Khan Younis. So this will mark a third mass displacement of these refugees.

Commenting on this, UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) official Sam Rose, told Al Jazeera of the "harrowing, horrific, and incredibly difficult" situation. "It means yet another day, week, chapter of misery for these hundreds of thousands of people … most of them have been displaced several times. Some had just returned from Rafah where they were displaced a few weeks ago," he said.

"They ought to go west, to al-Mawasi – the beachy, sandy area on the coast, but it’s already so overcrowded. There is no room to pitch a tent, there is no water, no infrastructure, no sanitary services. Many spend the night in vehicles or they sleep on their donkey charts," Rose added.

"They go without knowing precisely where they will end up because this evacuation order told people to go urgently – they know that if they don’t go out within 24 hours the worst is to come," the UNRWA official concluded in the statement.

By some estimates over 80% of Khan Younis' buildings had been destroyed by the first Israeli assault, and hospital infrastructure is barely existent, as medical personnel must evacuate patients again.

There are meanwhile new reports that IDF leadership is lobbying the government for a ceasefire even if it means leaving Hamas intact. This is part of an increasingly public spat among war planners and top decision-makers.

"Israel’s top generals want to begin a cease-fire in Gaza even if it keeps Hamas in power for the time being, widening a rift between the military and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has opposed a truce that would allow Hamas to survive the war," the NY Times reports Monday.

"The generals think that a truce would be the best way of freeing the roughly 120 Israelis still held, both dead and alive, in Gaza, according to interviews with six current and former security officials," the report added.

IDF spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said last month, "This business of destroying Hamas, making Hamas disappear – it’s simply throwing sand in the eyes of the public." He had explained: "Hamas is an idea, Hamas is a party. It’s rooted in the hearts of the people – whoever thinks we can eliminate Hamas is wrong."

Tyler Durden Tue, 07/02/2024 - 09:50


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