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Israeli occupation forces opened fire at displaced Palestinians attempting to return to northern Gaza. (Photo: video grab)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

Earlier in the day, Israeli army spokesman Avichay Adraee dismissed rumors of the Israeli army allowing the return of Palestinians to the area.

Israeli forces shelled on Sunday hundreds of displaced Palestinians as they attempted to return to their homes in the northern Gaza Strip, the Anadolu news agency reported.

Initial reports did not indicate any casualties, according to an Anadolu correspondent.

Earlier in the day, Israeli army spokesman Avichay Adraee dismissed rumors of the Israeli army allowing the return of Palestinians to the area.

“Reports on Israeli army forces allowing the return of the Palestinian population to the northern Gaza Strip area are false and completely baseless rumors,” Adraee wrote on X, adding that “the Israeli army does not allow the return of residents, neither through Salah al-Din Street nor through Al-Rashid Street Street.”

Adraee warned Palestinians against approaching Israeli forces in the northern Gaza Strip.

“The northern Gaza Strip is still a war zone and we will not allow a return to it,” he said.

Despite Israeli threats, hundreds of Palestinians, primarily women and children, attempted to return to northern Gaza via Al-Rashid Street. 

Eyewitnesses reported that Israeli forces instructed them to return to the southern Gaza Strip and deployed smoke bombs to deter their advance.

Internally Displaced

Nearly 1.7 million people are internally displaced in the war-torn Strip, equivalent to about 75 percent of Gaza’s 2.2 million inhabitants.

Since the first days of the war, the Israeli military has ordered the evacuation of all civilians living in Gaza City and in the northern Strip. 

“You will be able to return to Gaza City only when another announcement permitting it is made,” the Israeli army said in a statement on October 13. 

When the Israeli army began another invasion in central Gaza, more Palestinians were forced to head south. 

The vast majority of Gaza’s population is now trapped in the southern city of Rafah. Before the war, Rafah was home to an estimated 275,000 people but the population increased to 1.4 million people, according to UN estimates.

Gaza Genocide

Currently on trial before the International Court of Justice for genocide against Palestinians, Israel has been waging a devastating war on Gaza since October 7. 

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 33,729 Palestinians have been killed, and 76,371 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7.

Moreover, at least 7,000 people are unaccounted for, presumed dead under the rubble of their homes throughout the Strip. 

Palestinian and international organizations say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.

The Israeli war has resulted in an acute famine, mostly in northern Gaza, resulting in the death of many Palestinians, mostly children. 

The Israeli aggression has also resulted in the forceful displacement of nearly two million people from all over the Gaza Strip, with the vast majority of the displaced forced into the densely crowded southern city of Rafah near the border with Egypt – in what has become Palestine’s largest mass exodus since the 1948 Nakba. 

Israel says that 1,200 soldiers and civilians were killed during the Al-Aqsa Flood Operation on October 7. Israeli media published reports suggesting that many Israelis were killed on that day by ‘friendly fire’.

(PC, Anadolu)

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