The perpetual displacement of Gazans since the start of the war

Since the start of the military campaign launched by Israel in the Gaza Strip after the unprecedented attacks by Hamas on Israeli soil on October 7, 2023the inhabitants of the Palestinian enclave live to the rhythm of forced displacements following the military operations of the Jewish state.

Like journalist Doaa Shaheen, correspondent for the pan-Arab site Raseef22 Who “was moved nine times” from the Jabaliya camp in northern Gaza to Rafah in the south of the territory, before returning to the Nuseirat camp in the center of the enclave, where in May she survived strikes Israeli forces having destroyed the place where she had found refuge.

Or Marah Mahdi, another journalist who, with her family, was displaced eleven times, tells the Israeli-Palestinian site +972 Magazine.

“Mahdi has survived a winding and tumultuous journey, emblematic of the endless displacement endured by most of the population of the Gaza Strip – and which is still far from over.”

On October 21, eight days after the Israeli army asked the more than 1 million Gazans living north of Wadi Gaza to evacuate the area for the south of the enclave, Marah Mahdi and her family left Gaza City , “fleeing with only the clothes on their backs, a few essential papers and some food.”

They managed to find shelter in a school in Nuseirat, “quickly became dangerous due to Israeli airstrikes”. They then headed towards Deir El-Balah, in the center of the enclave, “hoping to find some semblance of security.” Then they continued south to Rafah, where they settled in November.

Returning north

Like Marah Mahdi, more than half of Gaza’s population has been crowded in recent months in Rafah into overcrowded buildings and tent cities in disastrous humanitarian conditions.

Until the invasion of Rafah almost a month ago “which pushed hundreds of thousands of Palestinians to flee again”, writing +972 Magazine. To the point that today several sectors of Rafah and the humanitarian zone of Al-Mawasi adjacent to the large city in southern Gaza “were emptied of displaced people”, writes the Palestinian daily Al Ayyam. Only ones remain “those who do not have the means to travel”.

According to the UN, cited by the BBC, More than 1 million Gazans – almost half of Gaza’s total population – have been displaced in the past month.

A large part of them, continues Al-Ayyam, is now in the Khan Younès sector, “city of ruins” including “many neighborhoods” are “almost unrecognizable”, writes a Gazan journalist on the site The Electronic Intifada, and Deir El-Balah, the two cities now being integrated into a “extended humanitarian zone”.

“Being forced to leave your home to save your life is a fate that is perhaps worse than death. I am now a ‘displaced person’ and no longer a citizen, writes a resident of Gaza in another text published by The Electronic Intifada. Everyone in Gaza is forced to leave their homes. The decision is simple: die at home or leave home and live a life as a shadow of yourself.”

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