Israel is playing games with its so-called “safe zones” where they are encouraging Gazan civilians to evacuate to, but there seems to be no place safe in southern Gaza. One such “zone” is in Muwasi, an area in southwest Gaza of about 8 square miles, which has no infrastructure for supporting human life. “How can a zone be safe in a war zone if it is only unilaterally decided by one part of the conflict?” demanded Philippe Lazzarini, commissioner-general of the UNRWA, reported AP. “It can only promote the false feeling that it will be safe.”
The area has no running water or bathrooms, assistance and international humanitarian groups are nowhere to be found, and the tents provide little protection from the coming winter weather and rain. “It is very cold and there are no necessities of life,” said Moneer Nabrees, who fled Gaza City in the north with some 30 family members. He recently arrived in Muwasi and now lives in a nylon tent with displaced family members. “There are lines for everything, even to get drinking water,” he said. Some don’t even have enough materials to build a tent.
UN humanitarian affairs chief Martin Griffiths also disputed the notion that there are safe areas in southern Gaza. “What’s happening in Gaza is forcing the people of Gaza to choose where to be and to choose on the basis of violence—and pressure,” Griffiths said. He said trucks with aid are still coming into Gaza through the Rafah crossing from Egypt, but that the UN and its partners are trying to find roads that haven’t been mined or destroyed.
Griffiths said the UN has been negotiating for weeks to open the Kerem Shalom crossing from Israel to allow trucks to go directly to northern Gaza as well as through Rafah and into the south. “There are some promising signs now that that may be able to open soon,” he said.
At the same time, the IDF has claimed that rockets fired from Gaza into Israel on Dec. 6 were launched from within (so-called) humanitarian zones. “At 3:59 p.m., Hamas terrorists launched 12 rockets toward Israeli civilians in the city of Beersheba in southern Israel. The rockets were launched from near tents of evacuated Gazan civilians in Rafah in southern Gaza and from next to United Nations facilities,” the IDF said in a statement. It said a rocket was also fired three hours earlier “from inside a humanitarian zone. The rocket misfired, putting many Gazan civilians at risk.”