In defiance of Israel: Thousands of displaced Palestinians marching back to home in northern Gaza

Yasmine Osama Farag , Sunday 14 Apr 2024

Tens of thousands of displaced Palestinians, mostly women, children and the elderly, have started a long march on foot to return from central Gaza to their homes in Gaza City and the northern strip.

Displaced Palestinians take the coastal Rashid road to return to Gaza City as they pass through Nuseirat in the central Gaza Strip on April 14, 2024 . AFP


They marched through the coastal Al-Rashid Road, which connects the south to the north of the strip, passing through Israeli checkpoints in central Gaza without obstacles, according to Ma'an news agency.

Some of the displaced families in central Gaza received calls from the Israeli army informing them that men over fifty, male children under 14, and women of all ages were allowed to return to the northern Gaza Strip, witnesses reported.

AFP posted multiple photos of displaced Palestinians taking the coastal Al-Rashid Road to return to Gaza City as they pass through Nuseirat in the central Gaza Strip.

However, the Israeli army spokesperson Avichay Adraee denied the reports as "lies and lacking any basis."

It came to Israeli i24NEWS' attention that people had been blocked and were going back south.

"The rumours according to which the army permitted residents to return to the northern Gaza Strip are lies and lack any basis," Adraee said in a social media post.

“The army will not allow the return of residents either through the Salah A-Din axis or through the Rashid axis (Al-Bahr)," he added.

"For your safety, do not approach the forces operating there," the army spokesperson warned.

"The northern area of the Gaza Strip is still a combat zone and it will not be possible to return to it," Adraee affirmed.

Since 7 October, Israeli intensive bombardment of residential units in Gaza City and other population centres in the northern strip has forced hundreds of thousands of Palestinians to flee south.

In tandem, Israel has maintained an ironclad blockade of all food, water, and medicine on the tens of thousands who refused or were unable to flee from the northern strip to the south, triggering a near famine situation.

Hamas, in the stalled truce talks, has insisted that Israel allows displaced Palestinians to return home to northern Gaza as a precondition for a ceasefire and prisoner swap.

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