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Rediff.com  » News » People from southern Israel leave homes, take shelter in Jerusalem amid war

People from southern Israel leave homes, take shelter in Jerusalem amid war

By Ashoke Raj
October 22, 2023 16:14 IST
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Amid the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas, people from southern Israel have left their homes and moved to Jerusalem where deserted streets and the historical West Bank wall area showcase an image of fear.

IMAGE: Palestinians queue as they wait to buy bread from a bakery, amid shortages of food supplies and fuel, as the conflict between Israel and Palestinian Islamist group Hamas continues, in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip October 22, 2023. Photograph: Mohammed Salem/Reuters

Several Palestinian (Arab) nationals have been living in Jerusalem for business purposes. However, their work has been impacted due to the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas.

 

They have attributed their losses to the current situation.

Taxi drivers and shopkeepers in the area are deeply upset by the actions of Hamas and the Israeli soldiers' retaliatory measures.

Notably, Hamas launched a surprise attack on Israel on October 7. Following this, Israel launched a counter-offensive against Hamas and vowed to destroy the terrorist group.

Shahid, an Arab taxi driver in Jerusalem, has been distressed by the situation.

He revealed that the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas has created animosity between Israelis and Arabs living in the city. Many Israelis refuse to ride in Arab-owned taxis, exacerbating tensions between the people.

Speaking to ANI, he said, "People aged 45 years and above are only allowed in the Al Aqsa mosque to go for prayer."

Asked about Hamas's attack on Israel, Shahid said, "We have no business due to the ongoing war. We want peace."

Another shopkeeper Nihad also shared a similar story.

He said, "There is no business, nothing, everything just stopped. Because of the war, everything stopped. We are in war. Now, there is emergency situation, what is happening here."

Jerusalem is one of the oldest and most historically significant cities in the world. Located in the Middle East, it holds great religious and cultural importance for multiple faiths, including Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

Meanwhile, Israel's ministry of defence and the Israel defence forces on Sunday said they are planning to evacuate another 14 communities close to the Lebanese border, The Times of Israel reported.

The evacuation plan applies to 14 additional communities which are: Snir, Dan, Beit Hillel, She'ar Yashuv, Hagoshrim, Liman, Matzuva, Eylon, Goren, Gornot HaGalil, Even Menachem, Sasa, Tziv'on and Ramot Naftali, according to The Times of Israel report.

Taking to X, the Israeli defence forces stated, "The ministry of defense & the IDF announce the evacuation of 14 additional northern communities to state-funded guesthouses. The expansion of the evacuation program was approved by DM Yoav Gallant. The IDF notified the relevant municipalities a short while ago."

On Monday, the IDF and other agencies announced plan to evacuate 28 communities living within 2 kilometers of the Lebanese border.

The Israel defence forces said it killed two members of Hamas's Nukhba commando forces in an airstrike near the Gaza border fence last night, The Times of Israel reported.

According to the Israeli military, other Hamas terrorists were also killed in the same incident.

The Nukhba unit led the attack on southern Israel on October 7. The Israel defence forces said that the fighter jets hit dozens of Hamas sites in the Strip.

The targets hit overnight include Hamas assets in weapons storage sites, command centres, buildings, tunnel shafts and mosques used as war rooms by terrorist groups.

On Sunday, Israel defence forces spokesperson Jonathan Conricus said that Hezbollah is playing a very "dangerous game" and escalating the situation.

He said that Hezbollah has been dragging Lebanon into war.

In an operational update on the northern border, Jonathan Conricus called Israel's response "measured, tactical and confined to the areas near the border."

He said that Israel has struck various infrastructures of Hezbollah that have positioned along the blue line.

"So far, our response has been measured, tactical and confined to the areas close to the border. The tactical distances from where Hezbollah has been firing these missiles, rockets and UAVs. That is so far. We have used both tanks, drones, artillery and infantry and a few other things. But in essence, those are the weapons that we have been responding," Jonathan Conricus said.

"We have struck various Hezbollah infrastructure that they have positioned along the blue line also in violation of 1701. We have struck positions where Hezbollah was firing from and we have also struck different Hezbollah squads. Hezbollah terrorist squads that were manning those anti-tank missiles have also been hit either by tanks or by other means," he added.

He asked Lebanon whether they are willing to jeopardize the prosperity of the country for the sake of terrorists in Gaza. He noted that Hezbollah has been dragging Lebanon into war.

"Bottom line is and this is what you all need to know Hezbollah is playing a very, very dangerous game. They're escalating the situation. We see more and more attacks every day. In addition, by the way many rockets have been fired into this area and we've had rockets alarm in this area as well and rockets landing in northwestern Galilee. So, Hezbollah has been escalating the situation steadily over the last few days with various types of weapons. We maintain our focus on the south, but extremely important for everybody in Lebanon to ask themselves the question of the price," Jonathan Conricus said.

"Is the Lebanese State really willing to jeopardize what is left of Lebanese prosperity and Lebanese sovereignty for the sake of terrorists in Gaza? For the ISIS of Gaza. That's a question that the Lebanese authorities need to ask themselves and answer because the way it is looking now Hezbollah is aggressing and it is dragging Lebanon into a war that it will gain nothing from but stands to lose a lot," he added.

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Ashoke Raj in Tel Aviv
Source: ANI
 
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