Israel-Hamas War Live Updates: About 300,000 Gazans Have Fled Rafah, U.N. Says

Jabaliya, in northern Gaza, in February.Credit…Mahmoud Essa/Associated Press

The Israeli military ordered the evacuation of Jabaliya, in northern Gaza, on Saturday as it stepped up attacks there because, it said in a statement, Hamas was trying “to reassemble its terrorist infrastructure and operatives in the area.”

Israel first invaded northern Gaza after the Hamas-led Oct. 7 attack, taking over territory and pushing south as it took over Hamas strongholds. But the military has yet to decisively defeat Hamas, many analysts say, and its return to Jabaliya was another indicator that the war could drag on.

The Israeli military has said it successfully killed many of Hamas’s key commanders in Jabaliya, which it considers a Hamas stronghold and base for operations. In recent weeks, however, Israeli forces repeatedly returned to the area — including the Zeitoun neighborhood of Gaza City and Beit Hanoun — arguing that militants were again active there. Five soldiers were killed on Friday in northern Gaza, at least four of them by an explosive device, the Israeli military said.

On Saturday, hours after urging people to evacuate, the Israeli military said it had begun “striking Hamas terror targets” in the Jabaliya area.

In a statement, Hamas accused Israel of “escalating its aggression against civilians all across Gaza” and vowed to continue fighting.

Israeli military analysts called Hamas’s apparent resurgence in northern Gaza the result of Israel’s failure to establish any alternative government there, leaving behind a vacuum that allowed for the return of an insurgency. Israeli forces sweep through areas, but when they inevitably retreat, Hamas reasserts its control, either directly or through allies, said Michael Milshtein, a former senior Israeli intelligence official.

“Hamas still rules,” he said. “Their forces have been badly damaged, but they still have capabilities. There’s still no alternative to them in Gaza, and every alternative we tried to establish failed.”

For months, Israel’s military has claimed to have “dismantled” most of Hamas’s military battalions. But Israeli leaders have also conceded that their forces will have to engage in a protracted campaign to quash what Yoav Gallant, the Israeli defense minister, called “pockets of resistance.”

In late March, Israeli forces stormed Al-Shifa Hospital, Gaza’s largest medical complex, for the second time, claiming that it had become a base for Hamas’s attempt to reassert its rule in northern Gaza. At least 200 were killed there and hundreds more arrested, according to the Israeli military.

The battle left much of the hospital in ruins, and Palestinians who returned to the complex described finding numerous corpses scattered in and around it.

It was unclear how many people heeded Israel’s warnings to leave Jabaliya. Fatma Edaama, a 36-year-old resident, has yet to leave. She said on Saturday that she hoped the latest fighting would be limited enough to allow her to stay safely.

“Our lives already ended in 2006,” when Hamas won Palestinian legislative elections, leading Israel to begin tightening restrictions on Gaza, she said, adding: “There’s no safe place for us to go. Added to that, most of the people in our house are elderly or sick. Where could we take them?”

#IsraelHamas #War #Live #Updates #Gazans #Fled #Rafah #U.N

About The Author

Leave a Comment