‘Night of terror’ for Palestinians as Israel increases attacks on Gaza City

Thousands of Palestinians suffered a horrible night, with many displaced, as the Israeli army’s intensifies its attack on Gaza City by land, air and sea.

Thousands of Palestinians in Gaza City experienced “a night of terror” amidst the Israeli army’s ground attack and bombardment.

Speaking to The New Arab, locals in Gaza City said that the Israeli army launched attacks on various areas of the western parts of the city without any prior warning.

“The bombing did not stop for a second,” Rana Al-Gharabli remarked to TNA, “we did not know what to do or where to run […] There is no place to go to in Gaza City, everything is destroyed.”

The 35-year-old mother of three, who lost her mother a few days ago during an Israeli bombardment, said, “If they [the Israelis] want to kill us, let them do it […] I do not think any of the Arab countries will blame them. They might prefer to participate in killing us.”

Rana fled with her family of eight again to one of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) educational centres in the city centre, hoping to shelter there until the Israeli bombardment ended.

But Israeli tanks soon surrounded the central UNRWA building. “We didn’t know where to run or what to do. The bombardment was everywhere, and the Israeli army had reached the heart of Gaza City. We were besieged from all directions and death was around us,” she added.

Israeli army spokesman Avichai Adraee claimed that “the Israeli army has launched a military campaign to thwart military activities carried out by Hamas and Islamic Jihad in the Tel al-Hawa area.”

“Due to intelligence information, army forces, under the command of the 99th Division, have launched a military campaign in the area to thwart military activities, including at UNRWA headquarters, which contains Hamas’s weapons, detention, investigation, and interrogation rooms,” he claimed, without providing evidence.

The Israeli army demanded that the Palestinian residents of the eastern neighbourhoods of Gaza City must immediately evacuate and head to the western areas of the city, considering that they are safe, he further claimed.

However, Palestinian civilians were caught off guard when the Israeli army suddenly invaded the western areas of the city, specifically in the Tel al-Hawa neighbourhood and the southern outskirts of the al-Rimal neighbourhood.

The unexpected assault caused a large displacement of Palestinians (native residents and those previously displaced) to the al-Nasr neighbourhood, north of Gaza City.

Due to the lack of transportation in the city, people were forced to walk for dozens of kilometres in the heat. Furthermore, the Israeli army continued to launch air and artillery strikes on various areas of Gaza City around those trying to escape the onslaught.

While carrying two children and a large bag on her back, Hanadi al-Ramlawi from the Shujaiya neighbourhood shouted, “How long will we continue to live in this inhumane situation? What will happen to our children and how will we be able to convince them to cling to life […] They killed everything inside us.”

Hanadi can no longer count the number of times she fled to escape death. “I no longer remember anything […] I don’t remember how many of my family I lost, nor do I remember the names of my friends who were killed, nor my neighbours, nor even what my life was like before the war,” she told TNA.
Families trapped

Due to the sudden Israeli attack, dozens of families were trapped in their homes around the universities and Al-Sina’a Street in the Tel Al-Hawa neighbourhood in Gaza City.

Ahmed Doghmosh, a resident of Tel Al-Hawa, told TNA, “After a night of terror, we waited for morning to come so we could escape. But we were surprised to find that tanks were besieging the street we live in.”

“We were unable to escape and are currently awaiting our fate […] The children and women are terrified, and we cannot protect them or ourselves,” he added.

Doghmosh is among dozens of families who cannot leave their houses yet.

Multiple Palestinians were killed, and countless others wounded as a result of the Israeli ground and air attack on Gaza City, according to Palestinian medical and security sources.

“Because of the heavy shelling and targeting of everything moving in the streets, it is difficult for our medical teams and civil defence teams to reach the victims to evacuate them,” the medical sources said.

“We are suffering from a lack of the necessary fuel and first aid that could help us bandage the wounds of the injured while transporting them to local hospitals. The Gaza Strip is being subjected to systematic genocide,” the sources added.

For its part, the government media office in Gaza announced that “the Israeli army is still continuing its massacres and criminal practices intending to displace Palestinians from Gaza City in particular and the Gaza Strip in general.”

The media office condemned what it described as international silence towards these “crimes that the Israeli occupation is skilled at committing against civilians.”

Fighting in Shujaiya continues

The Israeli army continues its ground military operation in the Shujaiya neighbourhood east of Gaza City for the second week in a row amid intensified confrontations with armed Palestinian resistance factions, according to Palestinian security sources.

The sources, who preferred not to be named, said that the occupation forces continue to bulldoze streets, while warplanes destroy people’s homes.

The source also noted that ambulance and civil defence crews are unable to enter the neighbourhood to retrieve the dead from under the rubble or rescue the wounded.

In turn, the sources stressed, “Resistance fighters are inflicting great damage on the ranks of the Israeli army and are practising hit-and-run tactics in the battle to kill and wound the largest number of Israelis.”

The sources added that “despite the intensity of the battles, the Palestinian fighters are controlling the military situation in the area, especially since they have learned lessons in confronting the army through previous incursions.”

Meanwhile, Abu Obeida, the spokesman for Al-Qassam Brigades, said on Sunday that “Al-Qassam Brigades were able to recruit tens of thousands of young Palestinians during the war to confront the Israeli aggression and that there are others still waiting their turn to join the resistance factions.”

In a recorded televised speech, the spokesperson declared, “After nine months, we are still fighting the enemy supported by the United States and Britain in Gaza without external support or supplies, and our people are still steadfast without food or medicine […] and we are still, and the performance is advancing, developing and growing.”

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