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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Palestinians prohibited from entering Northern Gaza despite four-day truce

However, Israel has declared the northern part of the enclave, particularly Beit Lahiya, as a combat zone, prohibiting entry.

As a four-day truce brokered by Qatar took effect in Gaza, a surge of displaced Palestinians attempted to return to their homes. However, Israel has declared the northern part of the enclave, particularly Beit Lahiya, as a combat zone, prohibiting entry.

Israel’s Warning and Military Response

Despite Israel’s warnings Palestinians defied the restrictions and attempted to return to Beit Lahiya. The Israeli military anticipates that Hamas might encourage civilians to reoccupy the area and has stated its preparedness to prevent such movements.

Read More: Israeli forces detain Al-Shifa hospital chief in Gaza

Leaflets dropped over southern Gaza reinforced the message, cautioning displaced Palestinians against returning north. However, on the ground, hundreds were seen walking towards the forbidden zones towards their home, resulting in confrontations and injuries.

Human Cost and Tragedy

Reports indicate that seven people were wounded by Israeli forces during attempts to return to northern Gaza. Tragically, two individuals were shot and killed, and 11 others sustained leg injuries. The situation underscores the complex and perilous reality faced by civilians in the war-torn region.

Israeli Military’s Position

A statement from Israeli military spokesperson Avichay Adraee emphasised the prohibition of movement from south to north, designating the area as a combat zone. 

The message urged residents to prioritise safety, emphasising that the war was not over and cautioning against staying in the prohibited region.

Homes Lost, Lives Shattered

Many Palestinians attempting to return home find themselves without a home to return to after seven weeks of intense Israeli bombardment and ground invasions. The conflict, which began on October 7, has left countless homes destroyed, leaving individuals grappling with uncertainty about the future.

Mixed Emotions Amidst the Truce

Gaza resident Ashraf Shann expressed mixed feelings about the truce, stating, “I have nowhere to go back to even if [the Israelis] allow us to go back to Gaza City.” The destruction has left families fragmented, with some unable to locate missing loved ones.

Cautious Optimism Amidst Looming Uncertainty

As the truce offers a temporary reprieve, displaced Palestinians like Zak Hania express a sense of cautious optimism. However, the looming possibility of the war resuming in a matter of days casts a shadow over their hopes.

Unequal Toll and Discontent

The toll of Israel’s war on Gaza stands at more than 14,800 lives lost, compared to about 1,200 in Israel from attacks by Hamas before the conflict. The imbalance in casualties has fueled discontent among Palestinians who view the ceasefire as incomplete and unfair.

Read More: BBC Faces Accusations of Bias in Coverage of Israel-Gaza Conflict

As displaced Palestinians navigate the challenges of returning home amidst warnings and restrictions, the fragile hope offered by the truce is overshadowed by the looming uncertainty of a resumption of hostilities. The scars of war run deep in Gaza, leaving a devastated landscape and shattered lives in its wake.