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Palestinians returning to Gaza homes shot by Israeli forces

Palestinians returning to Gaza homes shot at by Israeli forces
3 min read
29 November, 2023
Displaced Palestinian families who tried to reach their homes in the north since the start of the ceasefire but have faced hostility from Israeli forces.
Over 1.7 million Palestinians have been displaced by the fighting which has seen swathes of Gaza’s civilian infrastructure destroyed [GETTY]

Palestinians attempting to return to their homes in northern Gaza have been targeted by Israeli forces despite the temporary ceasefire agreement, according to local reports and Hamas.

Two Palestinians were reportedly wounded on Wednesday after Israeli forces opened fire on them in the town of Beit Hanoun, in the north of the enclave, Al Jazeera Arabic reported.

On Tuesday, Hamas’ military wing spokesperson Abu Obeideh said the group had dealt with a "violation" by Israeli forces in northern Gaza on Tuesday.

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In a statement on the group’s Telegram channel Abu Obeida said: "There was friction on the ground and our mujahideen dealt with this violation, and we are committed to the truce as long as the enemy adhered to it, and we call on the mediators to pressure the occupation to abide by all the terms of the truce on the ground and in the air."

Israeli naval forces also fired shells at Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip early Wednesday, according to Al Jazeera.

The temporary ceasefire, which went into effect five days ago, was meant to allow Palestinians to survey the wreckage of six weeks of intense bombardment.

But some displaced families who have attempted to return to homes in the north to find missing relatives and dig for belongings amongst the ruins have been met with hostility by Israeli forces.  

Over 1.7 million Palestinians have been displaced by the fighting which has seen swathes of Gaza’s civilian infrastructure destroyed, including apartment blocks, municipality buildings, universities, hospitals, and religious buildings.

Israeli ground forces have warned Palestinian civilians who enter the north they will be shot at, despite the deal stipulating a halt to all military action.

On Friday, the first day of the truce, two Palestinians were shot dead by the IDF, and 11 others were injured while they attempted to reach homes in the north, AP reported.

Despite the violations, talks between the parties are ongoing in a bid to extend the truce by an extra two days to allow Hamas to hand over more hostages in exchange for Palestinians imprisoned in Israel.

So far under the agreement, 81 hostages have returned to their homes and 180 Palestinian teenagers and women freed from Israeli jails.

The deal has also enabled hundreds of trucks of aid to enter Gaza, bringing in desperately needed supplies of fuel, food, water, and medicine to the besieged strip.

However, international agencies are warning that the supplies are not enough to meet the overwhelming needs of the war-torn population.

The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday called for a permanent ceasefire, describing it as a "matter of life and death for civilians".