Spread the love

Khan Younes transformed into a field of ruins by bombs

Photo: Agence France-Presse Palestinians returned briefly to Khan Yunis to take whatever material goods they could find.

Adel Zaanoun – Agence France-Presse in the Gaza Strip

5:53 p.m.

  • Middle East

Walking on the rubble of razed buildings, collecting the few belongings that could still be used, thousands of Palestinians returned Thursday to the center of Khan Younes to find a landscape of desolation after weeks of fighting.

In the streets of the largest city in the south of the Gaza Strip, men and women pile whatever they can on the roofs of cars, on carts pulled by donkeys or on their head or back: gas cylinder, clothing, furniture, as shown in images from Agence France-Presse (AFP).

Items that most of them will bring to where they have taken refuge since the beginning of the fighting.

Some wear surgical masks to protect themselves from the omnipresent dust. Like this teenager who was able to recover a huge stuffed toy.

After weeks of fighting, Israeli tanks this week left the center of Khan Yunis, located a few kilometers north of Rafah, leaving behind immense destruction and allowing residents to return to the town .

According to witnesses, the Israeli army and Hamas, the fighting continued on Thursday in the western part.

Also read

  • Hope for a truce in the Gaza Strip fades
  • In the midst of the conflict in Gaza, the Israeli war cabinet is torn apart
  • Ottawa has still not made a decision on resuming funding for UNRWA

“Sadness has invaded our lives”

Jamil Agha, 49, has decided to stay with his family in what remains of his house. “What can we do ? Crying is useless. Sadness has invaded our lives,” he told AFP.

“Israeli military planes […] destroyed thousands of houses, reduced them to ruins, but they were not able and they will not be able to destroy our memory,” says for his share Wajih Abou Zarifa, 55 years old, whose home was razed.

According to a municipal official speaking on condition of anonymity, the Israeli army “destroyed thousands of homes in Khan Yunis, causing massive destruction.”

“It destroyed markets, shops, clinics, medical centers, dozens of restaurants. It destroyed hospitals, all roads, water, electricity, communications and Internet networks. It dug up all the roads and changed the landscape of the city,” he added.

When asked by AFP about the destruction in the city and its withdrawal from the center, the Israeli army did not react immediately.

The Hamas Ministry of Health in Gaza said in a statement that six bodies were found in the center of Khan Yunis on Thursday afternoon and that “dozens of missing people are still under the rubble “.

The war in the Gaza Strip was sparked on October 7 by an attack of unprecedented scale by Hamas commandos infiltrated from the Gaza Strip in southern Israel, which claimed the lives of at least 1,160 people, most of them civilians, according to an AFP count based on official Israeli data.

In retaliation, Israel launched a military operation, which has so far left 30,800 dead in Gaza, mostly civilians, according to the Hamas Ministry of Health.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116