Unprecedented, forced migrations – Gaza abyss<


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Following the Hamas attack on October 7th, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) issued an evacuation order for over one million people in the northern region of the Gaza Strip as an attemt to retaliete Hamas. This directive was issued in response to a warning received by the United Nations from Israel, with the aim of moving these residents to the southern part of Gaza. This massive relocation led to a severe humanitarian crisis with devastating consequences for the local population, infrastructure, and overall public health conditions in the region.

While humanitarian aid is amassing on the Egyptian side of the border crossing, Egypt has refrained from permitting Palestinians to traverse from Gaza into the Egyptian Sinai peninsula. This decision follows a meeting between Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. President el-Sissi articulated his concern that such a mass migration of individuals from Gaza could undermine the Palestinian pursuit of statehood. Elaborating on this stance, President el-Sissi expressed apprehensions about the potential consequences of relocating Palestinian residents from the Gaza Strip to the Sinai region. He posited that such a relocation could inadvertently shift the epicenter of resistance and conflict from Gaza to Sinai. This transformation would effectively render Sinai a launching pad for hostilities against Israel, with the potential for cross-border attacks.

President el-Sissi underscored the importance of Israel’s right to defend itself and its national security. In such a scenario, Israel could respond by engaging not only with the immediate threat but also by pursuing diplomatic avenues with Egypt. This could entail discussions to address the security implications of such activities and explore avenues for cooperation. Egypt’s decision to restrict the movement of Palestinians from Gaza to Sinai reflects concerns about regional stability, security, and the potential for cross-border conflicts.

King Abdullah II of Jordan firmly rejected German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s proposition that neighboring Arab nations should accommodate Palestinian refugees fleeing the Gaza Strip in anticipation of an Israeli military ground operation. The monarch conveyed this refusal during a press conference held alongside Chancellor Scholz after their meeting in Berlin. During the same press conference, Chancellor Scholz also issued a warning to Iran and Hezbollah regarding their potential involvement in the Israel-Hamas conflict. King Abdullah emphatically stated, “I think I can speak here on behalf of Jordan… but also our friends in Egypt: This is a red line… no refugees to Jordan and also no refugees to Egypt.” This declaration emphasizes the unequivocal stance of Jordan and Egypt against receiving Palestinian refugees from Gaza amid the ongoing crisis.

The World Health Organization (WHO) received information from local health authorities in Gaza that evacuating vulnerable hospital patients from northern Gaza was infeasible following Israel’s military directive to relocate civilians to the southern region within a 24-hour timeframe. According to WHO spokesperson Tarik Jasarevic, among these patients are individuals with severe injuries whose only chance of survival depends on life support, such as mechanical ventilators”. The UN agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, has taken steps to relocate its central operations center and international staff to southern Gaza in response to the evacuation order issued by the Israeli army. This move allows the agency to continue its critical humanitarian operations and provide support to both its staff and Palestinian refugees in Gaza.

The situation in Gaza remains highly uncertain as the conflict between Israel and Hamas continues to evolve. Humanitarian organizations, including the UN and EU, are actively involved in providing aid and support to the affected population. The recent evacuation orders have created significant challenges, both in terms of logistics and the well-being of vulnerable individuals. The potential for further escalations and their consequences loom large, making the future of the region unpredictable. Coordinated international efforts and diplomacy are crucial to achieving stability, rebuilding infrastructure, and ultimately reaching a peaceful resolution to the longstanding Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Written by: Nenad Stekić

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