Israel Orders Thousands More Gazans From Their Homes

800 Displaced Families Turn to UN Schools, But Is That Any Safer?

by Jason Ditz, January 07, 2009

As Israel resumed their punishing offensive after a brief three-hour halt to allow Gaza’s struggling civilian populace to search for food, attention once again turned to the border between Egypt and the strip, where thousands of civilians were ordered to flee their homes by the Israeli military so they could be destroyed by air strikes.

Because Hamas uses your houses to hide and smuggle military weapons, the IDF will attack the area, between the Egyptian border until the beach road,” were all the military’s leaflets said, and as the military has shown time and again its willingness to kill civilians for the sake of whatever military goal this invasion hopes to accomplish, over 800 families fled their soon-to-be-destroyed homes in favor of two nearby UN schools turned into temporary shelters.

Yet surely at the fore of these civilians’ minds is yesterday’s Israeli attack on another UN school which they knew was similarly being used as a shelter by hundreds of civilians. They shelled that building without concern for its occupants, causing over 100 civilian casualties. Will these shelters be any safer?

Its unclear, but what is clear is that as the war moves into its 12th day no place in the tiny Gaza Strip is truly safe, and with both the Israeli and Egyptian borders closed to refugees, all the enclave’s 1.5 million residents can do is pick a hiding spot and hope Israel grows tired of its onslaught before that spot is hit as well.

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