Clashes between Israeli troops and Hamas block aid to Gaza
New clashes in the Gaza Strip. Israeli troops battled Hamas militants in the center of the Gaza Strip’s second largest city. The ground offensive has forced tens of thousands of Palestinians to flee to the territory’s southernmost border and prevented aid groups from delivering food, water and other supplies.
Two months into the war, the Israeli offensive in southern Gaza was bringing to Khan Younis the same fierce urban fighting and intensified bombing that had obliterated much of Gaza City and the northern part of the territory in recent weeks.
But in the south, the areas where Palestinians can seek safety are rapidly shrinking. Before the assault, Israel urged residents to evacuate Khan Younis, the childhood home of two prominent Hamas leaders. But much of the city’s population remains in place, along with large numbers of displaced people from northern Gaza who cannot leave or are wary of fleeing to the disastrously overcrowded far south.
Cut off from outside aid, people in U.N.-run shelters in Khan Younis are struggling for food, said Nawraz Abu Libdeh, a shelter resident who has been displaced six times.
“The hunger war has begun,” he said. “This is the worst of all wars.”
According to the United Nations, some 1.87 million people – more than 80% of the population of 2.3 million – have already fled their homes, many of them displaced multiple times. Almost the entire population is now crowded together in southern and central Gaza, dependent on aid.