Home » Blog » US Tells Israel Not to Replicate Gaza Invasion’s ‘Significant Displacement’ in South
Israel News United States

US Tells Israel Not to Replicate Gaza Invasion’s ‘Significant Displacement’ in South

The US is urging Israel not to replicate the mass displacement of Palestinians that resulted from its invasion of the northern Gaza Strip when it pursues its campaign in the south of the coastal enclave, according to two senior American officials. The officials, who spoke Monday to reporters on condition of anonymity, said 2 million Palestinians are now residing in south and central Gaza.

Many were forced from their homes in the densely populated north amid relentless Israeli bombardment that has leveled wide swathes of the coastal enclave. Roughly half of Gaza’s housing stock has been destroyed or damaged during the campaign, according to UN figures.

One of the officials said it is “extremely important” that Israel conduct any campaign in southern Gaza “in a way that is, to a maximum extent, not designed to produce significant further displacement of persons.”

“You cannot have the sort of scale of displacement that took place in the north, replicated in the south,” he said. “It will be beyond the capacity of any humanitarian support network, however reinforced, however robust, to be able to cope with. It can’t happen.”

Beyond preventing further waves of Palestinians being forced from their homes and shelters, the Biden administration has told Israel that its campaign must also be “maximally deconflicted” to ensure that UN and humanitarian facilities, power, water and hospitals are not targeted, the official said.

“We have these discussions on a constant basis with Israel. And if you ask me to characterize the response, there is an understanding that a different type of campaign has to be conducted in the south than was conducted in the north,” he said.

Asked by a reporter if the US is discussing the establishment of a “safe zone” in Gaza with Israel, the official said that is not the case. Instead, the US and Israel are discussing the establishment of multiple “practical arrangements on the ground” around UN facilities and shelters where “people there or people who may wish to come there would not be subject to kinetic activity.”

Israel and Hamas agreed to an initial four-day truce Friday. That was extended Monday for an additional two days to facilitate the delivery of more humanitarian aid into Gaza, as well as the release of additional hostages held by Hamas and Palestinian detainees held in Israeli prisons.

Negotiators are working on an additional extension, which US President Joe Biden has said he is seeking to broker. Israel launched its massive military campaign in Gaza following a cross-border attack by Hamas on Oct. 7 that killed more than 1,200 people, according to official Israeli figures. 

More than 15,000 people, including 6,150 children and 4,000 women, have been killed in Gaza, according to health authorities in the enclave.

Source: AA.com