Children in Rafah amidst the ongoing war

Al Sham’a Mosque in Zeitoun

We have recieved the following update regarding the shelling in the Zeitoun neighborhood of Gaza:

عاجل || شهداء وجرحى في قصف مدفعية الاحتلال محيط مسجد الشمعة في حي الزيتون جنوب غزة مسجد الشمعة بين كنيسة القديس بورفيريوس وكنيسة دير اللاتين

TRANSLATION: Urgent|| [There have been more] martyrs and wounded in the shelling by the [Israeili] artillery around Al Sham’a Mosque in the Zeitoun neighborhood, south of Gaza. Al Sham’a Mosque is between the Church of Saint Porphyrios and the [Roman Catholic] Monastery.

As of the time of writing, we have not heard much from our contacts in St. Porphyrios Orthodox Church and Holy Family Catholic Church regarding the shelling and evacuation orders in the Zeitoun neighborhood.

Saint Porphyrios Orthodox Church in Zeitoun

Shortly after midnight, local time, on Sunday, we received the following message from a contact in St. Porphyrios Orthodox Church:

حي الزيتون أكبر الأحياء بالمدينة الوضع فيه صعب جدا، وبدأت عملية نزوح من المدن الشمالية لاتجاه غرب غزة. والضرب ما زال مستمر بالزيتون ولا نعرف ماذا سيحظث

TRANSLATION: The neighborhood of Zeitoun is one of the largest in the city. The situation [here] is dire. An evacuation operation has started from the northern cities towards the south of Gaza. Bombardment continues in Zeitoun, and we don’t know what is going to happen.

Gaza Evacuation

We are deeply concerned for those who remain in the churches in Zeitoun. We are equally concerned for those who are attempting to evacuate. In past months, the IDF has bombed evacuation routes after giving evacuation orders. In the south, Israel continues to push further action in Rafah.

With heavy shelling and fighting in both the north and south of Gaza, many thousands of Gazans are facing evacuation and displacement again. Rafah has been considered the “last refuge in the Gaza Strip.” With no safe place to evacuate, families are forced to either stay in Rafah or return to North Gaza, which has already been devastated and is under attack again.

There is no place safe for them to go. Even their churches, hospitals, and schools are not safe refuges for the innocent displaced Gazans.

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