Fresh orders to flee

Families in al-Bureij refugee camp have been told to leave their homes. 

Omar Ashtawy APA images

The internet and other forms of communications had been disrupted over a 48 hour period.

I now believe there is a correlation between communications cuts and the massacres committed by Israel.

As soon as the internet was back again, I jumped to check the news. Was there even a tiny chance of a truce before Christmas?

Instead, I saw more horrifying news. Fresh displacement orders.

The Israeli army has told Palestinians in al-Bureij refugee camp, central Gaza, to leave their homes. They are supposed to head towards the city of Deir al-Balah.

The order was presented as being for the “safety” of people in al-Bureij. Yet there is nothing safe about the destination Israel has chosen for them.

The shelling and airstrikes in Deir al-Balah are constant.

Nowhere to go

Deir al-Balah is already packed with people from the northern part of Gaza, who were ordered to evacuate in October.

People who have arrived in Deir al-Balah generally did not know where to go.

Many came on donkey-drawn carts.

A few managed to ride in cars and trucks operating on cooking oil. Passengers often had to stand in the backs of the vehicles for the entire journey.

Some managed to take mattresses and blankets from their homes with them.

Huge numbers of people have gone even further south. They are staying in unfit tents, parks, schools, hospitals, shops where groceries or clothes used to be sold, clinics and even on the streets.

There is nothing in the markets. No food except for a few sporadic stalls that sell tomatoes, lemons and sweet peppers in addition to some cans.

Clothes shops are empty of clothes.

My neighbor’s sister lived in al-Bureij, along with her husband and her five children.

They have come to stay at her brother’s house in Deir al-Balah.

“We have left everything behind,” the woman said. She is afraid that the war will continue for a long time.

I am afraid that Deir al-Balah – the area we are in now – will be the next place targeted by such orders.

I am afraid that the latest orders are part of Israel’s plan to displace even more Palestinians in Gaza.

Ghada Abed is a journalist based in Gaza.