Israel orders mass displacement of Palestinians from Khan Younis

Israel ordered the mass displacement of another 250,000 people from the city of Khan Younis in Gaza on Monday, in the latest stage of its genocide against the population of the narrow Palestinian enclave.

Palestinians flee Khan Younis, Gaza Strip's second largest city, on Monday, July 1, 2024. [AP Photo/Saher Alghorra]

The ongoing bloodbath has the full approval of the Biden administration in the United States which is funding, arming and politically supporting Israel’s policy of genocide and ethnic cleansing. Last week, Reuters reported that the US government has provided Israel with 14,000 massive 2,000-pound bombs—more than any other type—making clear that the destruction of Gaza and the massacre of its population is the intended US policy.

The United Nations condemned the latest mass displacement. “Yesterday’s order for evacuation of 117 square kilometers in Khan Younis and Rafah governorates applies to about a third of the Gaza Strip—making it the largest such order since October, when residents were ordered to evacuate northern Gaza,” said a spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

Those fleeing the city were forced to set up temporary shelters “at the water’s edge because displacement camps are already packed at the coast,” the UN said.

Khan Younis had been largely abandoned weeks ago following earlier evacuation orders, with most of the population pushed into Gaza’s southernmost city of Rafah. But with Israeli forces launching an attack on Rafah, those seeking shelter there were once again forced into Khan Younis. On Monday, they were forced to flee again.

“It’s another devastating blow to the humanitarian response here, it’s another devastating blow to the people, the families on the ground. It seems that they’ve been forcibly displaced again and again,” UNRWA Senior Communications Officer Louise Wateridge said.

She continued:

How do parents decide where to go? Where is there to go? Already by this morning, just to the middle Gaza area, along the coastal road, you can see the makeshift shelters right up to the shoreline, right up to the water coming in. It is absolutely packed with families who have already had to move.

She added:

In the north, middle and south areas of the Gaza Strip, no place is safe. Already on the ground, we are seeing families move away from this area. There is more chaos and panic spreading on the ground.

Al Jazeera reported that 12 members of a single family were killed by an Israeli airstrike Tuesday after evacuating from Khan Younis to a supposed “safe zone.”

One displaced man, Bakri Bakri, told AFP News agency, “There is no room for us or any of the displaced.”

He added:

We have left again, and we do not know where to go. We went back to our place in al-Mawasi, but we could not find it because there are so many displaced. We slept in the street without shelter, without food, without water.

Israel’s assault on Rafah has largely shut the border crossing with Egypt, cutting the flow of food and energy into Gaza to a trickle. Hospitals are forced to ration power and cannot provide normal levels of care, much less enough to deal with the hundreds of people being wounded by Israeli bullets and bombs each day.

“Hospitals are once again short on fuel, risking disruption to critical services as injured people are dying because ambulance services are facing delays due to a shortage of fuel,” World Health Organization Regional Director Dr. Hanan Balkhy told UN News.

The lack of clean and potable water is leading to a surge of disease, which hospitals are simply not equipped to deal with.

The daily Israeli bombardment continues throughout the Gaza Strip. Between June 27 and July 1, 135 Gazans were killed and 631 were injured. The official death toll stands at 37,900, but there has been widespread speculation that the real death toll could be in the hundreds of thousands.

A report by UN Women last month noted that 557,000 women in Gaza are facing food insecurity, “leading many to skip meals or reduce their intake to ensure their children are fed.” A recent UN survey found that 76 percent of pregnant women were suffering from anemia, while “99 percent reported facing challenges in accessing necessary nutritional supplies and supplements.”

The UN noted:

Faced with no alternatives, women are also largely relying on burning wood, plastic, and other waste materials to cook, being particularly exposed to hazardous smoke and pollutants that cause respiratory and other health issues, the survey found.

Gaza’s Health Ministry noted that hospitals are facing “rampant” skin infections and lice outbreaks, as well as 880,000 cases of respiratory diseases.

In a statement to the United Nations Security Council, UN Coordinator for Gaza Sigrid Kaag declared:

Over one million people have been displaced once again, desperately seeking shelter and safety. 1.9 million people are now displaced across Gaza... The war has not merely created the most profound of humanitarian crises, it has unleashed a maelstrom of human misery.

Meanwhile, Israeli officials have announced that they are implementing a plan for creating what they call “humanitarian bubbles” throughout Gaza, a euphemistic term for what will effectively be concentration camps.

In an article titled “The Postwar Vision That Sees Gaza Sliced Into Security Zones,” the Wall Street Journal reported over the weekend a US-Israeli plan to create “temporary shelters” in the form of “fenced-off geographic islands located next to their neighborhoods and guarded by the Israeli military.”

This plan is being put into effect, the Financial Times reported, in a series of camps throughout Northern Gaza. The camps “will soon be launched in the northern Gaza neighborhoods of Atatra, Beit Hanoun, and Beit Lahia, according to six people with knowledge of the plan,” the FT reported.

Israeli officials, meanwhile, are pledging even more barbaric treatment of the Palestinian people. In a post on Twitter, Israeli National Security Minister Ben Gvir declared:

Since I assumed the position of minister of national security, one of the highest goals I have set for myself is to worsen the conditions of the terrorists in the prisons, and to reduce their rights to the minimum required by law.

He added:

It is very possible that even after the addition of the new prisons is completed, the many terrorists will still be overcrowded in prison. I have already proposed a much simpler solution, of enacting the death penalty for terrorists, which would solve the overcrowding issue.