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Gaza Field Update: 20-22 May 2024
27، May 2024

For more than seven consecutive months, Israel has persisted in conducting a genocidal military campaign against the Palestinian people in Gaza, resulting in the killing of over 35,700 Palestinians and injuring more than 80,000 Palestinians according to the Ministry of Health (MoH). An additional estimated 10,000 Palestinians are still believed to be trapped under the rubble, and are presumably dead.

The ongoing genocide in Gaza unfolds against a backdrop of over seven decades of Israeli settler-colonial and apartheid subjugation and domination against the Palestinian people as a whole. While the atrocities in Gaza persist, Palestinians throughout historic Palestine endure ongoing settler-colonial oppression, particularly in the occupied West Bank, including Jerusalem.

Our organizations are closely monitoring the ongoing escalation of Israeli attacks on northern Gaza, which have rendered two hospitals inoperable, in addition to the ongoing military attacks on various areas across Gaza.

Here’s a roundup of significant developments in northern Gaza between 20 and 22 May 2024:

Wednesday, 22 May 2024: In the early hours of Wednesday, Israeli airstrikes targeted a house belonging to the Abu Zayda family in the Bir al-Naja area west of the Jabaliya refugee camp, killing eight Palestinians, including two women and four children, and injuring others.

Tuesday, 21 May 2024:

Kamal Adwan Hospital: On Tuesday morning, Israeli forces advanced into the area surrounding Kamal Adwan Hospital, located between Beit Lahiya and the Jabaliya refugee camp, one of the last two functioning hospitals in North Gaza.  After intense aerial and artillery bombardment, Israeli forces surrounded the hospital, while gunfire from quadcopter drones targeted anyone moving inside. Medical sources informed our field researchers that many patients, injured individuals, and medical staff left the hospital, while others remained inside and lost communication with the outside world, effectively putting the hospital out of operation. It is noteworthy that Israeli tanks and vehicles approached from the eastern side of the hospital the previous day, with Israeli snipers stationed on the roofs of nearby houses, firing heavily towards the hospital gates and anyone moving nearby.

Al-Awda Hospital: On the same morning, Israeli forces surrounded Al-Awda Health Hospital on Tal al-Zatar Street in the Jabaliya refugee camp, with heavy gunfire directed at anyone moving inside the hospital, using quadcopter drones and tank-mounted machine guns. The hospital contained dozens of healthcare workers and patients, who lost communication with the outside world, effectively putting the hospital –– the last functioning hospital in North Gaza –– out of operation. The Israeli forces advanced into the area on Monday morning, 20 May, and began imposing a siege on the hospital amidst heavy gunfire in its vicinity.

Monday, 20 May 2024:

At approximately 10:00 am, Israeli forces initiated a ground invasion in Al-Sheikh Zayed Towers area, east of Beit Lahiya in northern Gaza, surrounded the nearby shelters, including Kuwait and Halab Schools, and forced displaced persons to leave amidst heavy gunfire from quadcopter drones. Preliminary reports from witnesses indicate that there are casualties and injuries among the displaced at the gates of the shelters.

At noon on Monday, Israeli airstrikes hit a residential block in Beit Lahiya, which includes homes belonging to the Al-Kahlout, Abu Dayer, and Al-Taramsi families. This attack led to the destruction of several homes and caused numerous deaths and injuries, with some people still trapped under the rubble.

At approximately 6:00 pm, Israeli airstrikes targeted a group of residents on Al-Nozha Street in Jabaliya, who were attempting to flee the area due to the intense aerial and artillery bombardment. This attack killed 13 people and critically injured 11 others.

On the same day, Israeli airstrikes targeted a house belonging to the Al-Khatib family behind the Beit Lahiya cemetery, resulting in several deaths and injuries.

At the time of writing this field update, Israeli forces continue the ground invasion of northern Gaza that began in the evening of Saturday, 11 May, and that now includes most of Jabaliya and its camp, as well as parts of Beit Lahiya and Beit Hanoun. Thousands of civilians, including children and women, remain in neighborhoods where Israeli forces are advancing, as well as in areas not yet reached by Israeli vehicles. They are staying in homes and shelters amidst continuous aerial and artillery bombardment and a suffocating siege, while all operational hospitals in the area have been put out of service.

Israeli forces continued their military attacks in the remaining governorates of Gaza:

In Rafah, Israeli forces expanded their ground attack westwards along the Palestinian-Egyptian border under the cover of intense aerial and artillery bombardment, advancing as far as Yibna camp and the Al-Abd Jabr area south and central of Rafah. As a result of the ongoing military attack in eastern Rafah, access to the UNRWA distribution center and the World Food Programme (WFP) warehouse in Rafah is currently impossible. Food distribution in Rafah has been suspended due to supply shortages and lack of security, as announced by UNRWA.

In the Middle Area District, Israeli airstrikes hit a makeshift shelter housing displaced people in Al-Zawaida town in the Middle Area, killing 10 Palestinians and injuring others.

In Khan Younis, at around 5:00 am, on Tuesday, 21 May 2024, Israeli airstrikes targeted a two-story house belonging to the Abu Tair family in Abasan al-Kabira town, east of Khan Younis, without prior warning. The attack resulted in the destruction of the house and killed three siblings, Ryan, Mohammed, and Badr Ramadan Abu Tair, aged 17, 12, and 11 respectively.

Israeli forces continue their aerial, ground, and naval bombardment across Gaza, resulting in more casualties and destruction of buildings and infrastructure, while hundreds of thousands of displaced people, mostly concentrated west of Deir al-Balah and west of Khan Yunis, continue to suffer under extremely difficult conditions and lack of life necessities.

Since 11 May 2024, the operations carried out by the WFP to distribute special nutritional foods to pregnant and breastfeeding women, and children aged under five, remain suspended in Rafah, but have continued in a limited manner in Khan Yunis and Deir al-Balah.