Residents of Khan Younis Horrified at Remains of City

( – Palestinian residents of Khan Younis returned on April 8 after the Israeli military pulled out from the region. Upon their return, many were unable to locate their homes as many buildings were completely demolished down to the dirt.

Thousands of buildings were completely gone, many more damaged with no clear indication on whether or not the damage will necessitate demolition and rebuilding nor when that process can even begin. The landscape is dotted with destruction, many buildings remain standing with huge holes or parts dangling off.

The damage tells the ongoing tale of the destruction in Gaza after Israel retaliated in response to Hamas terrorist attacks on October 7 last year. Over 2.3 million people have been displaced due to the fighting with over 30,000 deaths among the Palestinians according to its health authorities. Israel has had a handful of casualties by comparison, and 1,200 people were killed in the Hamas attacks on October 7.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reaffirmed his plan to attack Rafah, another city in southern Gaza which he claims is Hamas’ final stronghold. He said that the attack “will happen,” and added that they had a date chosen for the attack without further specification.

Khan Younis resident Magdy Abu Sahrour returned and couldn’t find his house. The entire area was reduced to rubble. The city was invaded by Israeli forces in December and only recently have residents been allowed to return. When they were evacuated many left all their possessions behind. Another resident, Heba Sahloul, returned with her elderly mother and daughters. Her father was killed in the first assault on the city. Sahloul complained to the media that they are “only six women” now, with nowhere to go.

Another woman suggested her agony was indescribable with her voice cracking. Meanwhile, her son crawled through the remains of their home, clearing rubble, looking for anything left of value.

Cease-fire negotiations are ongoing in Cairo. Hamas insists on a permanent ceasefire and end to military operations including the withdrawal of Israeli forces from Palestinian territories, conditions, without hostages released, has been rejected by Israel thus far.

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