Palestinian Territory – The Israeli army began waging a new war of terror early this morning, forcibly displacing the people living in Gaza City and North Gaza and causing another massive wave of internal displacement. This is part of Israel’s genocide against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, ongoing since 7 October 2023.

Tens of thousands of Gazans were displaced from multiple areas of Gaza City, and now have nowhere left to go, amid conflicting displacement orders issued by the Israeli army and no safe passages. This comes along with the Israeli military’s systematic and widespread genocidal war of starvation and deliberate, indiscriminate killing of Palestinian civilians in the Strip.

Just a few hours after ordering residents of the Gaza City’s Al-Tuffah, Al-Daraj, and Al-Shuja’iya neighbourhoods to head to the city’s southwest, theIsraeli occupation army launched a new ground incursion in this precise area, which housed 10s of thousands of displaced people.

The Israeli army launched a ground incursion in the area of Al-Sinaa, putting the neighbourhood under heavy rocket and shell fire. Israel directly targeted the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) headquarters, plus the mainbuildings of several already destroyed universities in the west of Gaza City—in total contradiction to the displacement orders given to 10s of thousands of residents.

The Israeli occupation army later ordered the residents of large areas in Gaza City to evacuate to Deir al-Balah, in the central Gaza Strip, including the Ahli Baptist Hospital medical staff, thereby forcing the hospital out of service. For months, the Ahli Baptist Hospital had been the main hospital operating in Gaza City.

Many reports have surfaced of dozens of deaths and injuries caused by the Israeli army’s abrupt incursion into Gaza City’s eastern and then southwesternneighbourhoods, which put the areas under heavy fire. This action was taken without prior warning and in defiance of conflicting evacuation orders.

Coinciding with the ongoing ground incursion into large areas of Gaza City, the Euro-Med Monitor field team documented a series of Israeli raids with dozens of gun belts and the firing of artillery shells. The ground incursion included searches, raids, and arbitrary arrests of civilians, as well as intentional killings around the clock.

Concerns about the Israeli army’s intentions to expand its ground operations and escalate its war of forced displacement, pushing the population in the north into the central and southern areas of the Gaza Strip—which are already crowded with more than 1.5 million people, suffering from various catastrophic humanitarian conditions—have increased. Residents of Gaza City’s Al-Shuja’iya and Al-Darajneighbourhoods received phone calls and threats from the Israeli army last night, first asking them to head to the areas southwest of Gaza City before eventually asking them to go to the “humanitarian shelters” in the city of Deir Al-Balah this morning.

The Israeli occupation army released a statement at approximately 9 a.m. regarding the start of its 99th Division’s military operation in Gaza City’s industrialarea, which includes the UNRWA headquarters. The statement highlighted that “with the beginning of the operation, the army has called and warned civilians via loudspeakers about the operation at the headquarters,and will open a corridor for the exit of uninvolved civilians from the area”.

Israel has pursued and continues to pursue a systematic policy of targeting civilians in the Gaza Strip who are protected by international humanitarian law. This includes intensifying the bombing of shelter centres over the heads of displaced people, purposefully forcing them to repeatedly evacuate from one area to another, and targeting areas designated as humanitarian zones.

Israel is deliberately killing, starving, and imposing forced displacement on the residents of the Gaza Strip. It is also destroying all aspects of life there, including targeting UN headquarters and shelter centres, and committing mass murder crimes, each of which constitutes a fully-fledged war crime.

By targeting UNRWA schools functioning as shelter centres, Israeli bombing tactics demonstrate a deliberate policy intended to prevent security across the entire Gaza Strip and deny displaced Palestinians stability or shelter, even if that shelter is only temporary.

According to UNRWA, Israel has bombed 190—more than half—of the agency’s facilities in the Gaza Strip, some of them more than once since the genocide began.  As a result, thousands of Palestinian civilians have been killed and injured while seeking refuge.

According to UN estimates, 1.9 million people in the war-ravaged enclave are internally displaced, including some individuals who have now been displaced up to nine or 10 times. Israel’s evacuation orders, its widespread damage to both public and private infrastructure, restrictions on access to essential services, and the ongoing Israeli violence constitute the main causes of the mass displacement waves.

Based on the aforementioned, all nations are required to fulfil their international obligations by enacting strong sanctions against Israel and severing all other types of political, financial, and military support and cooperation. This includes immediately halting arms transfers to Israel, including export permits and military aid; otherwise, these nations will be held accountable for the crimes that have been committed in the Gaza Strip, including genocide.

Additionally, the International Criminal Court ought to keep looking into any and all crimes committed by Israel in the Gaza Strip; broaden its investigation into criminal responsibility, in order to hold all perpetrators accountable; issue arrest warrants for those responsible; and acknowledge and address Israel’s crimes in the Strip, as they are international crimes that fall under the purview of the International Criminal Court and are clearly crimes of genocide.