The population of Gaza awaits a possible Israeli invasion after the end of the ultimatum

The ultimatum issued by Israel to evacuate northern Gaza, where more than a million people live, has concluded. Tens of thousands of people have fled the area fearing a possible invasion by Israel. According to the Israeli Army, they had until 4:00 p.m. local time, 3:00 p.m. Spanish peninsular time, to reach the southern part of the Strip. While troops, tanks and military vehicles accumulate on the perimeter, the dramatic situation in the enclave continues to worsen.

Until the announced time, the six border crossings that Gaza has they were closed after Rafah, the only one that borders Egypt, has also been closed by the Palestinian side.

Egypt blocks the only step that does not depend on Israel

According to Al Qahera News television sources, the Government of Egypt will not allow foreigners residing in the Strip to enter their country through the crossing of Rafah if humanitarian aid is not allowed to enter the Palestinian enclave. This morning the Egyptian authorities began to place cement blocks around the border with Gaza and to reinforce security due to fear of attacks or possible attempts to enter Egypt from the Strip, reports EFE.

Added to all this is the especially dramatic situation that medical centers are suffering, with a shortage of medicines and medical supplies, as well as a lack of electricity due to Israel’s total siege of Gaza, which prevents the arrival of food, water, goods or fuel.

The United Nations Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) has called on the Israeli Government to protect civilians who are in its facilities in different parts of this territory. In particular, it has requested the protection of “pregnant women, children, the elderly and people with disabilities, who will not be able to flee the area.”

The catastrophe is perceived in the hospital Al Awdain the city of Yabalia, located in the north of the enclave. The center, which also received an ultimatum, was ultimately largely evacuated, according to the NGO Doctors Without Borders (MsF), which collaborates with the institution. Meanwhile, in that same district, the official Palestinian news agency Wafa has reported that an airstrike against a house has caused 20 deaths and 80 injuries.

The Red Crescent has also warned of the impossibility of being able to evacuate the Al-Quds hospital. And, similarly, the management of Kamal Adwan hospital has announced that it cannot heed Israel’s order and will continue to treat patients.

The Israeli medical organization Doctors for Human Rights – Israel has recalled that this is a child care center, where right now there are 150 patients, including children and pregnant women, and which has no possibility of transporting those admitted in ambulances. “There is no alternative hospital in the Gaza Strip prepared to receive them,” the organization has notified.

Israeli troops and military vehicles, including tanks, gather at an undisclosed location along the border with Gaza. ATEF SAFADI / EFE

Humanitarian tragedy

The chaotic evacuation, by car and on foot, of a population of one million inhabitants continues, without the bombings having ceased at any time, according to the EFE agency. The majority of those living in northern Gaza – roughly half of the Strip’s population – They are refugees.

After the ultimatum issued by Israel, the UN warned that an evacuation of such proportions, without safe humanitarian corridors, while bombings and military incursions continue, with more than 8,700 injured – many of them children and the elderly – and with overcrowded hospitals and running without electricity, it is literally “impossible” and will lead to a humanitarian tragedy with “devastating consequences.” In addition to the United Nations, several international NGOs also rejected Israel’s measure.

The humanitarian crisis in the Strip is rampant in the face of constant attacks by the Israeli Army that have left at least 2,215 dead, a figure that in just one week of war is close to the 2,250 Palestinians who died in the 2014 conflict with Israel that lasted for two months. Among the fatalities There are 724 minors and 458 womenwhich is more than half of the total number of deaths recorded since the beginning of the war, last Saturday, due to a surprise attack by the Islamist movement Hamas, which so far leaves more than 1,300 dead in Israel.

WHO asks Israel to allow medical supplies to enter Egypt

Above all, the World Health Organization has insisted that Israel allow medical supplies from Egypt. “to meet the urgent needs in Gaza”. Also the delivery of fuel, essential so that the population can have drinking water, which “is running out.”

“It has become a matter of life or death. It is a duty,” denounced the commissioner general of the United Nations Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Middle East (UNRWA, Philippe Lazzarini). “Otherwise, people will start dying from severe dehydration, including small children, the elderly and women. “Water is now the last remaining sustenance,” the head of the agency insisted.

Images of the destruction of almost entire neighborhoods and of residential buildings reduced to rubble intersect among the information that increasingly emerges in dribs and drabs within the Strip. Israel has declared that between Friday night and early Saturday morning it bombed Hamas targets “on a large scale.” These operations have caused “dozens of deaths” and the murder, according to Israeli authorities, of a head of the militias’ air system.

For its part, the Ezzedin al Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, have announced death of nine other hostages due to Israeli attacks. Among the deceased are four foreign citizens killed “as a result of Zionist bombings” on the places where they were.

Meanwhile, the general secretary of Hamas, Ismail Haniye, has sent a letter to the Secretary General of the UN, António Guterres, in which he asks him to intercede to stop the “barbaric aggression” of Israel. Haniye denounces in the letter the “horrible violations that the Palestinian people are suffering in the Gaza Strip” that involve “war crimes in accordance with the Fourth Geneva Convention.”

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