Israeli forces push deeper into Gaza City threatening cease-fire talks

Israeli soldiers move on the top of a tank near the Israeli-Gaza border, Monday, July 8, 2024.

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Israeli troops pushed further into the biggest city in Gaza, chasing after militants who had gathered there, causing thousands of Palestinians to flee from an area heavily affected by the ongoing conflict.

Hamas cautioned that the ongoing airstrikes and forced relocation in Gaza City might result in the breakdown of the ongoing talks for a truce and the release of hostages, despite the apparent progress made by both parties in the past few days.

Israel has stated that Palestinians will be permitted to return to their homes in Gaza at some point, although the timing is uncertain.

There is a fear among Gazans that, just like in previous wars, they will be denied access to their homes once this conflict ends.

Bakeza Abu Asr, a displaced woman from Gaza City remembers what happened before and is worried about a repeat of the same. “During the 1948 migration, people took their house keys with them, and they still have them. Just like they did, our keys will stay with us until we go back home,” she cautioned.

Israel instructed the northern Gaza evacuation during the initial weeks of the conflict and has blocked the return of the majority of the population.

However, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians still reside in shelters or the remains of their homes.

Israel’s offensive in Gaza, sparked by Hamas’ Oct. 7 strike on southern Israel, has forced around 1.9 million of the territory’s pre-war population of 2.3 million Palestinians to leave their homes.

Many of them have been displaced multiple times since then, repeatedly fleeing across the strip to avoid a series of ground attacks.

As the conflict continues, numerous homes have been either destroyed or severely damaged.

The attack by Hamas militants on southern Israel on Oct. 7 resulted in the deaths of approximately 1,200 individuals and the capture of 250 others.

In retaliation, Israel’s actions have led to the deaths of over 38,000 Palestinians, as reported by the Gaza Health Ministry, without differentiation between civilians and fighters.

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