Gaza Truce Raises Concerns as Israel Blocks Palestinians’ Return to Northern Enclave

Fri Nov 24 2023
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GAZA CITY: As a four-day truce brokered by Qatar takes effect in the conflict between Israel and Hamas, displaced Palestinians in the Gaza Strip cautiously attempt to return to their homes. However, a shadow of uncertainty looms as Israel declares the northern part of the war-torn enclave off-limits, citing it as a combat zone.

According to Al Jazeera, several videos show Palestinians making their way back to Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip, despite clear warnings from the Israeli military. Leaflets dropped over southern Gaza reinforced the message, urging the hundreds of thousands of displaced Palestinians not to venture north amid ongoing military operations.

Reports from the Palestinian news agency Wafa state that seven individuals were wounded by Israeli forces during attempts to return to northern Gaza. Two Palestinians were killed, and 11 sustained injuries to their legs as they attempted to return to northern Gaza, AP news agency reported. Witnesses described the injured being taken back to hospitals in the southern part of the territory.

Israeli Military Warn Palestinians Against Returning to Northern Gaza

In a statement released by Israeli military spokesperson Avichay Adrei, residents were forcefully informed that movement from the south to the north of the Strip would not be allowed. Israel warned Palestinian civilians against returning to the northern part of Gaza.

The truce, welcomed by many Palestinians, brings a mix of emotions for Gaza residents like Ashraf Shann, who expressed the difficulty of returning when their homes have been destroyed by weeks of bombardment and ground invasions. Others, like Zak Hania, who fled the Shati refugee camp, described the prevalent sense of brokenness in Gaza, making the prospect of returning during the truce a daunting one.

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