Palestinians trapped in Gaza: Fleeing at all costs, 'but to where?'

From north to south, Gaza is under bombs. The Palestinian micro-territory and its 2.4 million inhabitants are relentlessly bombed by the Israeli army. The goal: to destroy Hamas. The death toll in the enclave has risen to nearly 16,000, the vast majority of them women and children. There is nowhere to hide, so families are thinking about leaving. Do we still have to leave the territory?

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Palestinians flee Khan Younes to Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on Monday, Dec. 4, 2023. AFP - MAHMUD HAMS

By: RFI Follow


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With our correspondent in Jerusalem, Sami Boukhelifa

Staying in Gaza, for what? "To stay is to die," Khamis laments. "I am a business owner, but my business has been destroyed. I had vacation rentals, and they were also destroyed by the bombings. I've lost everything, I don't have any source of income anymore. In Gaza, we don't live, we survive. Now I have nothing.



What future should we offer children? Manel, Khamis' wife, asks. "We've made up our minds," says the mother, "we want to live away from here." "In my life," she adds, "I have never thought of leaving Gaza. But this war, this fear, this terror that we live with every day, no child should have to go through that.


It's been twelve years since I started my family, and I'm so scared for my children. I want to leave, whatever it takes. There's no life here, it's nothingness. Everything around us is destroyed. This war has done us a lot of harm. Our house was destroyed.

Currently in central Gaza, the couple and their children are trying to reach the southern border to reach the Egyptian border, which is officially closed to Gazans. "But if you have the right contacts, and for $5,000 per person, the Egyptians will let you through," said a source in Gaza.

Under Israeli strikes in northern Gaza, civilians are ordered to move to the south of the enclave. When they arrived in the south, they were not spared. Gaza, a war zone. Without shelter, without shelter. A destitute population, left to its own devices and now condemned to flee permanently.

Palestinians flee Khan Younes to Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on Monday, Dec. 4, 2023. AFP - MAHMUD HAMS

On the side of the road, Iyad, his wife and their five children are desperately waiting for a car, a truck, or even a horse-drawn cart to take them to Rafah, in the far south of the Gaza enclave, on the border with Egypt. Journalist Rami Al Meghari met with them and sent us their testimony.


I'm from northern Gaza," says Iyad. I found refuge in a school here in the southern region. We were told it was a safe place. So we were moved for the first time. And now we're under threat again. I have four girls and a boy, I don't know where to put them. I leave it to God, what else do you want me to do?


In the sky: Israeli surveillance drones. And the army planes that also drop leaflets, evacuation orders. "But to go where?" asks Ahmed. "Wherever we are, we are bombed," the young man said. "There is no more room in the schools. People are sleeping on the streets. »

I'm from Gaza City. From the beginning, they told us to go south, but it's just as dangerous. Even schools that host refugees are being targeted.

In Gaza, 1.8 million people, out of a population of 2.4 million, have been displaced by the war, according to the UN.

Read alsoIsraeli tanks enter the southern Gaza Strip

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