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think tank: Israel’s Gaza Offensive – Humanity at the Breaking Point


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The situation in Gaza, which has long been unbearable for its residents, has taken a nightmarish turn, with Israel’s relentless assault, siege, and displacement causing immeasurable suffering.

With over a million displaced and more than 2,000 lives lost, Gaza is on the brink of a catastrophe. In this interview with Tariq Kenney-Shawa, a US policy fellow at Al-Shabaka, the Palestinian think tank and policy network, we explore the dire conditions in Gaza, Israel’s “evacuation” order, and the impending ground invasion.


The Desperate Situation in Gaza

Gaza, even in so-called “calm” times, is a place where life is almost unbearable. The population is trapped within the confines of the strip, unable to leave without Israeli permission, which is rarely granted. Infrastructure in Gaza has been decimated by repeated Israeli offensives, leaving residents with limited access to essential resources. The ongoing siege, which has now escalated into a full-scale military assault, has left Gazans without basic necessities such as water, electricity, and food. Hospitals are overwhelmed, lacking vital supplies, and struggling to cope with the increasing number of casualties.


Israel’s Empty Evacuation Order

Amidst the ongoing bombardment, Israel issued an “evacuation” order for northern Gaza, signaling an imminent ground invasion. The logistical challenges of evacuating over one million people, many of whom are elderly, infirm, or hospitalized, within a narrow time frame are insurmountable. The densely populated nature of Gaza makes such mass evacuations an impossibility, even without the added complexity of ongoing Israeli airstrikes targeting those who attempt to follow designated evacuation routes. Tragically, recent events have shown that even following Israel’s instructions does not guarantee safety, as civilians have been killed in airstrikes on convoys of refugees.


Humanitarian Implications of Forced Evacuation

Forcing the evacuation of northern Gaza’s population into the open during an aerial bombardment has grave humanitarian implications. The region is already one of the most densely populated in the world, and a mass movement of this scale is unfeasible within such a short timeframe, especially under continuous Israeli airstrikes. There is a lack of infrastructure and resources to accommodate these displaced individuals. This evacuation order appears to be an empty gesture aimed at deflecting international criticism, as Israel continues to target civilians.


Gaza’s Bleak Future

With Israeli forces possibly moving towards southern Gaza, the civilian population faces a grim reality. There are no safe havens in Gaza; there are no bomb shelters or civilian safe zones. Roads promised to be safe for civilian evacuation are also being targeted. The entire strip is under fire, and the situation is set to worsen as Israel prepares for a ground invasion. Gaza’s residents have no refuge.


Evacuation to Egypt: A Complex Dilemma

Discussions about allowing Gaza’s civilians to evacuate into Egypt have emerged as a potential solution. However, this option presents a complex dilemma. In the absence of a formal evacuation plan, the displaced population faces the prospect of becoming homeless refugees, much like what occurred in 1948. This scenario creates a new refugee crisis, further adding to the tragedy. It also serves as a means of ethnic cleansing, a chilling parallel to Israel’s actions during the Nakba.


The Unchecked Aggression of Israel

The international community’s response to Israel’s actions is a cause for concern. Israeli officials’ rhetoric, referring to Palestinians in derogatory terms and advocating collective punishment, often goes unchallenged. The US government’s unwavering support for Israel raises questions about whether there will be any restraint on Israeli aggression in Gaza. The utter dehumanization of Palestinians and the international community’s complacency with Israel’s actions cast a dark shadow on the prospects for peace and justice in the region.




The situation in Gaza is a humanitarian catastrophe, with an escalating crisis that threatens to further devastate the lives of its residents. The international community must act urgently to address the suffering in Gaza and push for a peaceful resolution to the longstanding conflict. Israel’s unchecked aggression and the resilience of the Palestinian people make it crucial for the world to stand up for justice and human rights in the region. The heart-wrenching reality of Gaza demands collective action and the commitment to preventing further loss of life and suffering.

News Desk, where most of the News Item edit for THE THINK TANK JOURNAL

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