“This evacuation is for your own safety,” the Israeli military declared on October 13, when it ordered 1.1 million Palestinians in northern Gaza to leave their homes. Thousands heeded the warning and headed south, only to be bombed along the way and upon arrival.
The massive evacuation order was only the inauguration of an array of announcements and legal technologies developed by the Israeli military and its legal team in order to organise the violence against the Palestinian population and shroud it in an obfuscating narrative of international humanitarian law precautions.
In November, shortly after the Israeli army launched its ground offensive, it designated Gaza’s main north-south route – Salah al-Din Street – as a “safe corridor”. A map with the evacuation passage was shared by the occupation forces, underscoring their “humanitarian effort” to protect civilians. But since then, Gaza’s main road artery has become a corridor of horror where Palestinians have been randomly bombed, executed, forcibly disappeared, tortured and humiliated.
Meanwhile, the Israeli army continued to bombard the territory south of Wadi Gaza which it had repeatedly declared a “safe area” where Palestinians from the north could seek safety.
When at the end of November, the death toll of the war reached 15,000 Palestinians, many of whom were civilians killed in the “safe zones”, the United States administration tried to conceal its support for Israel’s indiscriminate targeting of civilians with a cosmetic request to “expand” the so-called safe areas. So the Israeli army responded by introducing a new “humanitarian tool”: the evacuation grid system. It published on social media a grid map dividing the Gaza Strip into 600 blocks and indicating which areas were supposed to be “evacuated” and which were “safe”. [Continue reading…]