Raed Abu Khoussa and his daughter Malak were terrified when they saw the posts and thought they contained a warning to leave (Al Jazeera)

Gaza -

When the child, Malak, told her father, Raed Abu Khoussa, on Tuesday morning, February 20, that Israeli occupation planes were dropping leaflets, he became extremely worried. He immediately realized the potential consequences, as the people were accustomed to these papers carrying orders to immediately leave their homes.

Abu Khousa left his tent set up in one of the shelter centers in the city of Deir al-Balah, in the central Gaza Strip, to investigate the matter. About half an hour later, a neighbor came to him bearing good news, as it turned out that the leaflets contained incitement material against the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) and did not call on the residents. To leave.

Regarding his feeling when he learned about the content of the posts, he said, “I was very relieved” and expressed his happiness.

Abu Khoussa was displaced three times previously, based on orders and warnings carried by these leaflets, the first of which was from his home in the Bureij camp in the central Gaza Strip.

He told Al Jazeera Net, "I was in a state of frustration, worry, and anguish, an unnatural frustration, to the point that I told the children to prepare yourself to leave... The leaflets are a disaster and a disaster, and I consider them a death sentence. Suddenly they throw leaflets calling for departure... Where will we go?"

Homelessness again

To Samir Skaik, these paper leaflets seemed like a real nightmare, given his recent displacement after the occupation army deported him from Gaza City to the center of the Strip, against his will.

Skaik told Al Jazeera Net, "I am now without housing, and without my family, and people provided me with a temporary tent, and when I saw the flyers I was very afraid, and said that they intend to displace me again."

He added, "I arrived in Deir al-Balah only a week ago after being detained for 4 days in Gaza. The soldiers threw me in the street in my underwear. Currently, I have nothing, and I do not know what to do or how I will live."

He continued that he felt great relief when he found one of the leaflets, and it turned out that it did not contain a deportation order.

Publications in Gaza

While the residents of Deir al-Balah were fortunate that the leaflets did not contain orders to evacuate, their counterparts in the Al-Zaytoun and Turkmen neighborhoods east of Gaza City (north) were otherwise, as leaflets dropped by planes (on the morning of Tuesday, February 20) ordered them to leave their homes immediately and head to Al-Mawasi area, south of the Gaza Strip.

According to eyewitnesses who spoke to Al Jazeera Net, residents wandered off carrying some luggage and headed to the western Gaza area, refusing to obey the army orders that asked them to head to the south.

Sakik: When I saw the saws, I was very afraid, and I said that they intend to displace me again (Al Jazeera)

Pitting against resistance

Raneem Abdo, a researcher in “Brands and Advertising Strategies,” enumerates Israel’s goals for publishing leaflets, including:

  • Displacement of people from their areas.

  • Weaken their morale.

  • Inciting them against the Palestinian resistance.

  • Spreading terror.

  • Collecting intelligence information about resistance leaders and Israeli prisoners in Gaza.

Regarding the goal of turning the population against the Hamas movement, Abdo mentioned in her interview with Al Jazeera Net that she had seen publications bearing the name “Al-Waqi’ newspaper,” including several issues, which included direct incitement against the movement.

One of the posts also included a popular proverb that says, “Hamas is like an owl that only looks for ruin.”

A publication called “Al-Waqi’ newspaper” and contains inflammatory content against Hamas (Al-Jazeera)

Collect intelligence

Regarding Israel's use of this method to collect intelligence information, Raneem Abdo indicated that many publications call on residents to provide information about the locations of Hamas leaders and Israeli prisoners held by the resistance, and attach them to phone numbers and applications.

For example, planes dropped leaflets printed on counterfeit banknotes offering a “reward” for any information about Israeli detainees.

She also dropped leaflets bearing pictures of 69 Israelis detained in the Gaza Strip, calling on the Palestinians to inform the occupation army if they recognized any of them.

The Al-Qassam Brigades captured more than 200 Israelis during the “Al-Aqsa Flood” attack on October 7, and released 77 of them in a prisoner exchange with the occupation that took place last November.

An attempt to create terror

Reports indicate that some of the leaflets dropped by Israeli occupation aircraft on the Gaza Strip aimed to incite terror among the population.

Human rights activist Raneem Abdo says that she saw leaflets containing direct threats, including that anyone who does not evacuate his home in the northern Gaza Strip will be classified as a “terrorist.”

The planes also dropped a leaflet on the city of Khan Yunis containing a phrase taken from Surah Al-Ankabut in the Holy Qur’an, which is “So the flood took them while they were wrongdoers,” in imitation of the name of the attack launched by Hamas for its attack on the “Gaza envelope” settlements on October 7, which is “Flood.” Al-Aqsa.

Many publications conclude with the phrase, “I may excuse those who warn.”

Raneem Abdo rules out Israel's success in achieving its goals through these publications, adding, "In general, it will not succeed, and what it will achieve is strengthening hatred."

Difficult psychological impact

For his part, Professor Muhammad Shaheen, Professor of Psychological and Educational Counseling at Al-Quds Open University, confirms that the policy of dropping leaflets makes residents feel anxious and stressed due to its association with threats and negative expectations.

He pointed out, in an interview with Al Jazeera Net, that measuring the psychological effects of the brutal war waged by Israel on the population is a difficult process, given the severity of its ugliness.

He adds, "All the powerful international psychological references, such as the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders and the guide issued by the World Health Organization, did not take into account the reality in Gaza. What is happening did not even exist in previous world wars. I think we need a different theory and new studies and research." Due to the specificity of the situation.”

He continues, "Psychological trauma comes from a single event, but these are successive traumas, and therefore its symptoms are different from what is stated in psychology references," warning that its impact will continue until after the war.


🔴 Israeli army planes

drop new leaflets on the city of Rafah, south of the Gaza Strip

Will Israel commit another foolishness? #Gaza #Gaza #Palestine #Palestinepic.twitter.com/dHYl3QwKYJ

- TREND GAZA (@TRENDGAZA1948) February 10, 2024

Violation of international law

In turn, Director of the Legal Department at the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Observatory, Lima Bastami, points out that the publications published by Israel contain content that violates international humanitarian law.

Bustami confirms that international humanitarian law requires Israel to notify citizens of the necessity of temporarily evacuating the military zone, but the problem lies in the way the order is implemented, as displacement is in violation of international law, and Israel is obligated to provide safe areas in which they can resort.

Bustami added to Al Jazeera Net, "When publications say that whoever remains in the region is a terrorist and can be targeted, this violates international laws that differentiate between civilian and military."

Bustami points out that inciting the population to resist is part of the policy of "terrorizing civilians and committing crimes with the aim of obtaining political gains."

Source: Al Jazeera