DECEMBER 3 — Israel’s resumed attacks on Gaza, after a seven-day truce with Hamas ended, have entered its second day.
According to the Israel Defence Force (IDF), it hit more than 400 “Hamas targets” across Gaza over the past day, using air strikes and shelling from tanks and Navy gunships.
It included more than 50 attacks on the city of Khan Younis and surrounding areas in the southern half of Gaza.
The southern Gaza is where thousands of civilians moved from the north of Gaza. They had been told to do so by the IDF with the added warning that they could be identified as sympathisers with a “terrorist organisation” if they stayed put.
The message was delivered in leaflets marked with the IDF name and logo, and also sent to people via mobile phone audio messages across Gaza.
“Urgent warning, to residents of Gaza. Your presence north of Wadi Gaza puts your life in danger. Whoever chooses not to leave north Gaza to the south of Wadi Gaza might be identified as an accomplice in a terrorist organisation,” the leaflet said.
But even the south is not safe.
The IDF has now called on the civilians to evacuate from Khan Younis as it expands its military operations. It is urging them to move southwards towards Rafah, close to the border with Egypt.
But even the southmost is not safe.
Al Jazeera’s Tareq Abu Azzoum reported that a residential building in the Rafah district has been levelled to the ground. More than six Palestinians have been reported killed and a number of them have been injured.
CBS News’ Marwan al-Ghoul reported of a strike in Rafah where he found a boy at the scene in tears.
“We were there collecting water to wash our clothes. The bombing started and the rocks came flying at us,” the teen, Omar Hahrous, told CBS News. “I looked around me and I could not find anybody. Some were injured... some were martyred.” https://www.cbsnews.com/news/israel-says-gaza-combat-resumes-accuses-hamas-violating-cease-fire-terms/
It is no surprise that spokesperson for the UN humanitarian office in Geneva, Jens Laerke said: “Hell on Earth has returned to Gaza.”
UN aid chief Martin Griffiths added that children, women and men of Gaza had “nowhere safe to go and very little to survive on.”
According to Al Jazeera’s Hind Khoudary, “houses have been targeted. At least three mosques were hit. Areas across the Gaza Strip – the north, south and centre – have all been targeted.”
A peace negotiator once said that there are 100 steps to peace; the first steps are humanitarian.
If the seven-day truce had ended, there are remaining 99 steps to peace, along with remaining first humanitarian steps.
Why resume the attacks?
*This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of Malay Mail.