Published Nov 9, 2023 at 9:24 PM IST

'We have no water, no electricity, and no flour'

Hundreds of Palestinian civilians fled south within Gaza on Tuesday by foot or on donkey carts to escape combat and Israel's siege of the enclave. In the north of the Gaza Strip, Israeli ground forces backed by relentless airstrikes have encircled Gaza City, the base of Hamas' power, since the weekend. They cut the strip in half and sought to drive Palestinians from northern Gaza as troops advanced. Many escaped with just the clothes on their backs. Pushing a wheelchair-bound aging relative, Ameer al-Ghalban said he was fleeing from the north to south of the enclave as food and supplies had run out. He said he and his elderly relative have had only one piece of bread each day for the past three days. "The majority of people have left their land because the siege has become absolute on Gaza. We have no water, no electricity, and no flour," he said. From early on in the war, now in its second month, the army has urged civilians to move south, including by announcing brief windows for what it said would be a safe passage through Salah al-Din, which runs through the centre of the besieged enclave. 

But tens of thousands of civilians have remained in the north, many sheltering in hospitals or United Nations facilities. Those who have stayed put say they are deterred by overcrowding in the south, along with dwindling water and food supplies, and continued Israeli airstrikes in what are supposed to be safe areas.

Published November 9th, 2023 at 21:24 IST

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