With growing expectations that Israel will soon launch a ground attack on the besieged 365 km2 strip of land, fears are growing over what this could mean for trapped civilians. Israel has ordered civilians to leave northern Gaza for their own safety, but Hamas insists the population must stay put.
Senior international journalist for the Guardian Pierre Beaumont explains what Israel would like to achieve with the ground invasion – and the obstacles it faces. He also discusses Hamas’s meticulous preparations for the conflict and highlights how devastating any invasion could be for the people of Gaza.
Some, like Afaf Al-Najjar, heeded Israeli warnings and moved towards southern Gaza. But the 21-year-old student and marketing manager says she doesn’t feel any safer. Instead, she says the endless airstrikes have made her feel like her death is near. Anglo-Palestinian doctor Ghassan Abu-Sittah, on the other hand, tell Nosheen Iqbal he won’t leave because he doesn’t want to abandon his patients and is determined to stay and care for them.