Israel orders further Rafah evacuation

  • The Israeli military orders Palestinians to further evacuate eastern Rafah as it intensifies its assault on the area in southern Gaza.
  • Health Ministry in Gaza says it has uncovered 80 bodies from three mass graves from inside a section of the al-Shifa Hospital complex in Gaza City.

Thousands protest in Sweden’s Malmo against Israel’s participation in Eurovision

This demonstration is a kind of mirror image of the demonstrations that were held here in Malmo on Thursday when Israel’s singer Eden Golan performed in the semifinal of the Eurovision Song Contest and got through to the final.

Malmo has a very large Muslim population and a very large population of a Middle East diaspora.

People here are extremely angry that the European Broadcasting Union that organises Eurovision has said that Israel can participate when, for example, two years ago Russia was banned after its invasion of Ukraine.

Harvard students name hall after Shireen Abu Akleh

Students at Harvard University in the US have named the hall after the veteran Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh who was killed two years ago by an Israeli sniper in the occupied West Bank city of Jenin.

Several human rights groups and media organisations found that the Israeli army was responsible for the killing of the Palestinian-American journalist.

University campuses in the US and around the world have exploded in recent weeks in protests by pro-Palestinian students and faculty members against Israel’s war on Gaza.

Some have renamed halls after the names of Palestinians killed by Israel, including Abu Akleh and Hind Rajab, a six-year-old girl whose family car came under Israeli fire in Gaza.

Group of 17 medics forced to evacuate ‘safe house’ in Rafah

Mosab Nasser, chief executive officer at FAJR Scientific, a non-profit US medical organisation, has told Al Jazeera that 17 medical personnel are currently stuck in Rafah after Israel seized the Rafah border crossing.

The group arrived on April 29 on a two-week mission, Nasser said, speaking from the European Gaza Hospital in Rafah.

“We were operating the first week of our mission with no problems and then the military operation started in eastern Rafah. But then it started trickling farther west where our safe house was,” he said.

“This morning we received the evacuation orders from Block 6 in Rafah where our safe house is – it is not longer safe – to evacuate, so we had to interrupt our work at the hospital and go back and pick up our stuff from the unsafe house and bring it back to the European Hospital,” he added.

Nasser said the Israeli military operation was not, as Israel claims, concentrated on eastern Rafah. “What we have experienced is completely otherwise. In fact, bombs were falling in the neighbourhood where we were, within a distance of less than 500 metres [0.3 miles] from the supposedly safe house, which put our physicians and surgeons at risk.”

Captive died of wounds sustained in Israeli air raid: Hamas

Hamas’s armed wing has said in a statement that Nadav Popplewell has died of wounds that he sustained in an Israeli air raid more than a month ago.

Earlier, we reported that the Qassam Brigades released an 11-second video showing Popplewell, saying it will publish more information soon.

In the video, republished on social media and cited by Israeli news outlets, the 51-year-old is seen with a bruised eye confirming his name. Superimposed text in Arabic and Hebrew reads: “Time is running out. Your government is lying.”

‘We are abandoned by the world and everyone feels betrayed’

Islamic Relief has released a statement with the account of a staff member in Gaza while also condemning Israel’s latest evacuation orders that, it said, have created utter “chaos and panic”.

Here’s what the charity’s worker said:

“I feel like this is the end. It feels like we will all be either trapped and killed in Gaza, or we will all be forced out. People have stayed in Rafah thinking it’s safe and hoping that global pressure would stop an invasion. But now we are abandoned by the world and everyone feels betrayed and let down.

“It’s an unimaginable scene, with tens of thousands of people looking for shelter. People are pale and thin, tired and afraid. There are children, women, elderly people and people with disabilities trying to flee in wheelchairs. Injured people have to leave hospital with recent bandages and bloodstains.

“In other parts of Gaza, the few bits of remaining land are now filling up with tents and shacks built of bits of wood and nylon.

“No humanitarian assistance has entered since Israel took over the Rafah crossing and Kerem (Karem) Abu Salem crossing closed. Bakeries have stopped working because they don’t have fuel, so we don’t have bread. We don’t have any water supply as that also depends on fuel deliveries, so yesterday we had to pay $50 just to refill our tank. Cars have stopped, so people coming from Rafah to the Middle Area are either walking or packed into vans carrying hundreds of people.

“Many people in Gaza are already suffering from famine, but now we are entering a new period of unprecedented hardship.”

More uncertainty for Palestinians after new evacuation orders

The Israeli military has stated within the past 24 hours that the operation in Rafah is limited.

But what we’re seeing on the ground is more expansion of the military operations, the air strikes and the intense bombing campaign that started to include the central part of the city and the central-southern part of Rafah city close to the Kuwaiti Hospital and near areas where thousands of displaced families had set up their makeshift tents in the streets or inside evacuation zones sheltering from the horror of the war.

These new evacuation orders are sending people to new uncertainties; they don’t know where to go, particularly after the proof that they have that these “safe zones” designated by the Israeli military are not safe after all – people ended up being killed inside these designated zones.

More people have fled Rafah so far but there are still more who are trapped in areas unable to evacuate because of the intensity of the bombing and of the extreme force of the Israeli military.

Rafah residents ‘leaving for the unknown’

Palestinians taking shelter in eastern Rafah are fleeing after Israel issued an evacuation order.

The UN estimates more than 100,000 people have now evacuated while the Israeli forces say the figure is about 300,000.

“They called us three times, and the neighbours came and said get out quickly. They sent an evacuation order for the entire area. What should we do here? Do we wait until we all die on top of each other? So we decided to leave, it’s better,” said Hanan al-Satari, a Rafah resident.

Faten Lafi, another resident of the southern Gaza city, said: “We are forcibly leaving after the occupation army threatened us, through recorded calls and in a post published on Facebook. We are leaving because of fear and coercion. We are leaving for the unknown and there are no safe areas at all. All the areas left are unsafe.”

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