Hamas loses control of Gaza administration, says Israel

More than a month after the start of the war between Israel and Hamas, the radical Islamic group is losing control of the Gaza Strip, according to the Israeli government.

Thousands of Palestinians fled the northern Gaza Strip on Wednesday (8), covering kilometers on foot through this devastated territory, in a growing exodus driven by the intensification of Israel’s ground and air operations.

Streams of people – women, children, the elderly and the disabled – took to Salah Eddin Street, one of Gaza’s two north-south highways, along an evacuation corridor announced by the Israel Defense Forces (FDI).

One teenager compared the mass movement to the “Nakba,” or catastrophe, the Arabic term for the expulsion of Palestinians from their cities during the founding of Israel.

This is the fifth day in a row that the IDF has opened an evacuation window, and the number of people fleeing south increases every day.

The UN said 2,000 people fled south on Sunday, up from 15,000 on Tuesday. The Israeli government said 50,000 Gazans used the evacuation corridor on Wednesday.

This number could not be independently verified, but a reporter from CNN Those present at the scene said the number of departures was higher than on Tuesday.

Israel has intensified its offensive inside the Gaza Strip, following the October 7 attacks which left 1,400 people dead in Israel.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said Tuesday that IDF troops were in the “heart of Gaza City” and targeting Hamas infrastructure and commanders. It is not clear where Israel is fighting.

“Gaza is the greatest terrorist stronghold humanity has ever built. This entire city is a big terrorist base. Underground, they have miles of tunnels that connect hospitals and schools,” Gallant said. “We continue to dismantle this capability.”

The Israeli army has been bombing Gaza for weeks, claiming to have hit 14,000 terrorist targets in the densely populated territory.

A man who did not give his name told a reporter from CNN in southern Gaza, that he and his neighbors experienced “horrible days”. He said they left their home in northern Gaza and moved several times, but it was impossible to escape the airstrikes.

“This war has left nothing safe – not the churches, not the mosques, nothing. Today they dropped the leaflet ordering us to leave for the supposedly safe area. We have now passed this area of ​​Wadi Gaza and we still hear bombings. There is no safe place in Gaza.

“We are seven families. All our houses are gone. Nothing is left. We couldn’t take anything – no clothes, no water, nothing. The path to get here was very difficult. If something falls, you won’t be able to get it back. You are not allowed to slow down. Dead bodies everywhere.

Baraa, a 16-year-old girl, said she had been walking for a long time.

“It looked like the Nakba (catastrophe) of 2023,” she said, using the Arabic term for the expulsion of Palestinians from their cities during Israel’s founding.

“We came across people who were torn to pieces, corpses. We walked alongside the tanks. The Israelis called us and asked people to undress and throw away their belongings. The children were very tired because there was no water. »

A CNN questioned the IDF about the allegation that the evacuees were forced to strip and dispose of their belongings.

“We were subjected to heavy bombardment and had no choice but to leave our area,” said Hani Bakhit. “We ended up using donkey carts because there were no cars, no fuel, no drinking water. We have nothing left. They forced us to leave, cutting off all available resources,” he said, referring to Israeli forces.

“People who have nothing to do with the resistance are being bombed and fleeing south,” Khader Hamad said. “They are all children, newborns, women.”

People carried few possessions in their arms or on their backs. Some were sitting on carts pulled by donkeys. On Tuesday, some could be seen carrying white flags and holding identity documents.

“Donkey carts are the only means of transportation left,” Abu Ida said. “There is no more solar power or fuel for cars, but those who own cars are also afraid to use them. I can’t walk because I’m diabetic, I can’t walk with my feet.

A woman who did not give her name said: “We are being destroyed.”

“No one cares about us. Maybe we’re safe now, but I’m not sure who is still behind. I don’t know where my family is. My brothers are behind me. Out of fear, I couldn’t look back. Neither to the right nor to the left.

“We came from Al Shifa (hospital) and saw dead people on the way. Corpses, destruction everywhere.

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