Residents pack as Israel orders new evacuations in Gaza’s southern city of Rafah

(11 May 2024)
RESTRICTION SUMMARY:

ASSOCIATED PRESS
Rafah – 11 May 2024
1. Various of people loading their belongings into truck
2. Various of belongings by vehciles
3. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Hanan al-Satari, Rafah resident:
"They called us three times, and the neighbours came and said get out quickly. They sent an evacuation order for the entire area. What should we do here? Do we wait until we all die on top of each other? So we’ve decided to leave, it’s better. Whatever happens to other people, will also happen to us."
4. Various of people loading their belongings and essential items into vehicle
5. Various of woman moving items
6. Various of people loading belongings on roof of vehicle
7. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Abu Yusuf al-Deiri, displaced from Gaza City:
"We were surprised this morning. We received a call from the army, a recorded call, asking us to evacuate the area we are in. We are affiliated with the Shaboura camp, as well as Khirbet Al-Adas and other areas. We are preparing to go to Muwasi because they said it is a humanitarian area, but we do not know whether to go to Muwasi because there is already a large number of people that have been displaced there. I don’t think it will be a safe area, because the Israeli army does not have a safe area in Gaza. They target everything."
8. Belongings next to vehicle
9. People moving belongings
10. Belongings by vehicle
11. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Faten Lafi, Rafah resident:
"We are forcibly leaving after the occupation army’s threats to us, through recorded calls and in the post that their coordinator published on Facebook. We are leaving because of our fear and due to coercion. We are leaving for the unknown and there are no safe areas at all. All the areas that it says are safe are unsafe."
12. People carrying belongings through street
13. Various of people carrying belongings and vehicles with belongings on roof
14. People on vehicles leaving
STORYLINE:
Residents in Rafah gathered their belongings on Saturday as Israel issued new evacuations orders for people in Gaza’s southern city.

The order is set to force tens of thousands more people to move as Israel prepares to expand its operation in the enclave and adding that it is also moving into an area in northern Gaza where Hamas has regrouped.

Israel has now evacuated the eastern third of Rafah, pushing the operation to the edges of the heavily populated central area, although Israel’s move into the city has so far been short of the full-scale operation that it planned.

More than 1.4 million Palestinians — half of Gaza’s population— have been sheltering in Rafah, most after fleeing Israel’s offensives elsewhere.

Abu Yusuf Al-Deiri, a displaced resident from Gaza City, said that he would be heading to Muwasi with his family after receiving a recorded call from the Israeli military to leave Rafah.

He doesn’t think, however, that it will be a safe area.

"The Israeli army does not have a safe area in Gaza. They target everything," he said.

Rafah resident, Faten Lafi, echoed those sentiments, saying she too felt there were no safe areas in Gaza and that her and her family were leaving "for the unknown".

The United Nations and other agencies have warned for weeks that an Israeli assault on Rafah, which borders Egypt near the main aid entry points, would cripple humanitarian operations and cause a disastrous surge in civilian casualties.

Muwasi, a rural makeshift camps, is already packed with some 450,000 people, according to the U.N.

Much of Gaza has been destroyed and some 80% of Gaza’s population has been driven from their homes.

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