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In the shadows of destruction and despair: Voices from Gaza's devastation

In the shadows of destruction and despair: Voices from Gaza's devastation

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Politics Basic Rights

Tuesday 10 October 202311:58 am
إقرأ باللغة العربية:

إجرام إسرائيل يتزايد في غزة... هكذا تحاول تحسين صورتها المُهشّمة!

With deep sorrow and anguish, citizen Naama Abu Nada stands before the Palestine Tower in the heart of Gaza City. She gazes upon the remnants of her residential apartment in the hundred-unit building, reduced to rubble by Israeli airstrikes following a harrowing night of relentless Israeli military assaults across various regions in the Gaza Strip.

Palestinians look on at their demolished homes - Photography by Raseef22 correspondent Mohammad Atallah

"We endured an incredibly distressing night after receiving a call from an Israeli intelligence officer demanding an immediate evacuation of the building without taking anything. It was slated for an airstrike. I hurriedly left with my children, with barely enough time to grab a bag containing essential official documents and identification that I had prepared in anticipation of this moment," Naama Abu Nada recounts to Raseef22, her weariness and sorrow etched across her face.

She voices her frustration with an undertone of anger, "We are ordinary people with no affiliations to anything. Why are they doing this to us? The building had dozens of families. They have displaced us and rendered us homeless. Where can we go, oh God, where?"

Demolished buildings in besieged Gaza Strip - Photography by Raseef22 correspondent Mohammad Atallah

The situation wasn't much different for Haj Abi Rami Al-Sharafi. His six-story home in the Jabaliya refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip was obliterated by Israeli aircrafts, and he barely managed to wake his children and grandchildren to flee in time, saving them before the house became a pile of rubble on top of them.

"The house where 30 people lived is now gone, and we find ourselves displaced, uncertain of our fate or what lies ahead for us. What's important is that we survived, but just barely. This is the policy of the occupation that targets and bullies unarmed residents"

Abu Rami clutches his wooden cane with trembling hands. Seated on a plastic chair before his shattered home, his eyes reflect the grief he feels after dedicating many years to build it and secure his family's well-being, as he narrates.

"The house where nearly 30 people lived is now gone, and we find ourselves displaced and homeless, uncertain of our fate or what lies ahead for us. What matters most is that we survived, and none of our children were harmed. This is the policy of the occupation, which targets and bullies us, the unarmed and defenseless residents". This is how Abu Rami describes what has befallen him before our interview is suddenly interrupted by the sounds of explosions perilously close to our location, due to the continuous Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza Strip.

Residents of Gaza endured a harrowing night of intense Israeli airstrikes that resulted in numerous casualties and hundreds of injuries. Palestinian civil defense teams continue their relentless efforts to rescue families whose homes were mercilessly targeted without prior warning, leaving them trapped under the debris.

Young Palestinians carry an elderly woman amidst the wreckage - Photography by Raseef22 correspondent Mohammad Atallah

Officials in the Palestinian Health Ministry have confirmed that the Israeli aggression has, up to this point, led to the loss of more than 830 lives and left more than 4,250 individuals wounded. It has also forced nearly 20,000 citizens to flee their homes, seeking refuge in 23 shelters scattered across various regions within Gaza.

During a press conference detailing the developments of the Israeli aggression on Gaza, Salama Marouf, the head of Government Media Office in Gaza, revealed that Israeli airstrikes have inflicted complete devastation upon at least 13 residential towers and buildings, resulting in the total destruction of 159 residential units. Furthermore, 1,210 residential units have suffered partial damage, with 36 units rendered uninhabitable due to the ferocity of the Israeli attacks. Among the targeted structures are public facilities, including government administrative offices, several civil affairs offices spread across multiple governorates, two mosques, and 19 facilities affiliated with the Ministry of Interior and National Security.

The relentless Israeli airstrikes have driven hundreds of families, particularly those residing in border areas, to flee their homes and seek shelter in UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees) centers, schools, and other designated facilities. Scenes of displacement continue to unfold as families carry their bags, mattresses, and children to the nearest available shelter.

Amid this mass displacement, Ahmed Naeem, a man in his fifties from Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza, now finds himself sleeping on the floor inside UNRWA Preparatory School "A". He clings to a small radio, listening to the news bulletin after being forced to abandon his home due to the relentless bombardment.

Naeem described to Raseef22 the seismic impact on his neighborhood, where most neighboring houses were targeted, "There's nothing left for us. The bombings forced us to flee, leaving our homes and families behind until we found the nearest school to seek refuge from the relentless airstrikes."

Gazan women picking their way through the ruins of their homes - Photography by Raseef22 correspondent Mohammad Atallah

Across the hall, in another classroom, Um Saeed, a woman in her forties, covers the windows with a blanket she brought along. She attempts to comfort her daughters and sons, saying, "I pray that this won't last long, and we'll return to our homes."

Concurrently with the aforementioned developments, Palestinian resistance factions persist in the operation they've dubbed "The Al-Aqsa Storm". The clashes continue within settlements that the resistance has successfully penetrated. Simultaneously, rockets keep raining down on Israeli towns. Meanwhile, Israel is endeavoring to reclaim its lost deterrence by targeting Palestinian civilian homes and causing the loss of hundreds of lives.

Dr. Walid Al-Mudallal, a seasoned expert on Israeli affairs and politics, holds the belief that the situation in Gaza is poised for further escalation. He remarks, "We are talking about prisoners taken and the incursion into areas that Israel deems its own sovereign territory. The Israeli side is ready for escalation, and this time, the battle is not like any other."

In an interview with Raseef22, Al-Mudallal asserts that the resistance remains undeterred, having strategically infiltrated all Gaza border settlements, and they are unwaveringly pursuing a meticulously devised plan, which appears to have accomplished the desired results.

The relentless Israeli airstrikes have driven hundreds of families, particularly those residing in border regions, to evacuate and flee their homes to seek shelter in UNRWA centers, schools, and other designated facilities

Regarding his predictions for the coming days, Al-Mudallal points out that the Israeli military, faced with the crumbling of its deterrence and its repeated failures to regain control of the settlements for the second consecutive day, is grappling with a dilemma. The persistent presence of resistance forces in these areas poses a significant challenge, despite Israel's nuclear supremacy in the region and its ability to wield oppressive force as it pleases and with impunity.

Al-Mudallal anticipates that Israel will deploy an overwhelming amount of force, laying siege to certain areas, severing transportation routes in Gaza, and undertaking efforts to displace civilians as a means of exerting pressure on the resistance. This will precede the consolidation of their internal defenses and the recapture of the settlements. These actions will be conducted in tandem with operations to infiltrate resistance forces, apprehend the captured soldiers and settlers, and secure control of strategic sites and weaponry.

Furthermore, he notes that the Israeli government has secured diplomatic and political support, garnering approval from various countries, most notably the United States, for its actions in Gaza, portraying them as necessary self-defense measures.

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