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No Place To Hide In Gaza As Israel Pounds Targets, Flights To Tel Aviv Suspended

GAZA STRIP - A spokesman for the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said during a news briefing in Geneva on Tuesday the 1.7 million densely populated in the Gaza Strip are becoming deeply affected by the ongoing Israel Operation Defensive Shield campaign that began on July 8.

Smoke due to airstrikes and shelling rises from Gaza on July 22, 2014 as seen from near Sderot, Israel. As operation 'Protective Edge' goes into it's third week, the death toll continues to mount, including 27 Israeli soldiers and over 500 people in Gaza,
Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images

"There is literally no safe place for civilians," Jens Laerke, the spokesman for OCHA said.

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency said in a statement on Tuesday the civilian population in Gaza is also in dire need of food, water and mattresses. The UNRW is also reported that nearly 500 homes have been destroyed by Israeli airstrikes forcing over 100,000 people to seek shelter in schools where UNRWA officials are trying to help the civilian population.

"This number continues to increase by the hour," the UNRWA statement went on to say in addition to appealing for emergency funds of $115 million.

Meanwhile the civilian casualties continue to mount on Tuesday as Israel Defense Forces say in defense that they warned the civilians in the targeted areas to evacuate. However the response from Palestinians has almost always been: There no safe place to hide, where should we go?

The Gaza Strip is a narrow coastal strip situated up against the Mediterranean Sea that is partitioned off by a high grey wall that separates the Gaza Strip from Israel.

The New York Times reported, UN shelters are at capacity in Gaza with more and more Palestinians starting to realize they aren't safe adding one shelter was bombed by the IDF. The vast majority of Gazans the Times reported cannot leave Gaza since they live under restrictions which the United Nations understands makes this Gaza Strip unlike anywhere else in the world.

Prime Minister David Cameron described the Gaza Strip as "an open-air prison" where most of the civilians are refugees after being forced to flee Israel where their descendants live. Cameron said most of the civilian population are trapped since they are unable to get a refugee status into Egypt who has severely curtailed the Palestinians ability to travel. The Egypt border crossing was only open for 17 days this year with only Hamas militants who control Gaza and people with foreign passports being the only people able to leave the Gaza strip.

“The problem,” said Maissa al-Attar, 21, “is that when we are fleeing from the shelling, we still find the shelling around us.”

The violence coming from Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip into Israel is now beginning to impede air travel into Israel. After a Hamas rocket exploded approximately one mile from Ben Gurion International Airport near Tel Aviv on Tuesday morning, the incident prompted the Federal Aviation Administration to release a statement saying there will be a 24 hour ban on American flights into Israel.

Delta Flight 468 that left JFK International Airport on Tuesday morning on its way to Tel Aviv was diverted to Paris after learning about the FAA ban on air travel into Israel. However the Israel Airport Authority wasn't happy about the ban with an airport authority official saying “There is no reason that American carriers should stop flying to Israel and thus give a prize to terror."

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