Written by 12:40 World

Gazans Flee Jabaliya as Israel’s Military Launches New Offensive

The northern town of Jabaliya had already come under fierce attacks from the Israeli military earlier in the war, killing many civilians and demolishing large parts of the suburb. So, as Israeli ground forces moved to other parts of the Gaza Strip and military strikes focused elsewhere, residents thought they had experienced their worst days.

But last week, the Israeli military dropped leaflets again over Jabaliya, where tens of thousands of people are living, ordering them to leave as it prepared to launch a renewed offensive.

“When the Israelis dropped the leaflets, people were terrified, especially given what they experienced previously,” said Iman Abu Jalhum, 23, who graduated from medical school two months before the war began and has been volunteering in hospitals treating the wounded. “We thought given that we have already been attacked that we were safe; the Israelis have already been here.”

Soon after the leaflets dropped, so too did the bombs, she said. Ms. Abu Jalhum, her 16-year-old sister and her parents fled their home under bombardment. She only had time to throw a few items of clothing into a bag and put on her prayer shawl.

Her father, who has back issues, struggled to walk along the road. Eventually, they found a donkey cart to take him the rest of the way, a few miles south.

Israel said it had renewed the offensive in Jabaliya on May 11 because Hamas was trying to reassemble its infrastructure and operatives in the area. Hamas accused Israel of “escalating its aggression against civilians all across Gaza” and vowed to continue fighting.


Last modified: 19 May 2024